February 12, 2015

Gospel MK 7:24-30
Jesus went to the district of Tyre.
He entered a house and wanted no one to know about it,
but he could not escape notice.
Soon a woman whose daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him.
She came and fell at his feet.
The woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth,
and she begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter.
He said to her, “Let the children be fed first.
For it is not right to take the food of the children
and throw it to the dogs.”
She replied and said to him,
“Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s scraps.”
Then he said to her, “For saying this, you may go.
The demon has gone out of your daughter.”
When the woman went home, she found the child lying in bed
and the demon gone.
In today’s gospel we find Jesus in Tyre, a region of the Gentiles bordering Israel. Hearing that Jesus was a man of God, the woman approached him to heal her daughter.
The old saying comes to mind here, “Desperation makes strange bed fellows.” It was of no concern to the woman that Jesus was a Jew. Her daughter needed help and perhaps this man, a foreigner, could cure her.
She approached Jesus, a total stranger, and without shame “begged him” in the hope that her child might be healed.
To “hope” is to desire something with an expectation that it will come to pass.
This scene is repeated many times over, both in scripture and in our lives today.
The synagogue official approached Jesus in the “hope” that his daughter would be brought back to life. The woman touched the tassel of his robe in the “hope” that her hemorrhaging would stop.
A woman calls My Brother’s Keeper for the first time in the “hope” that her children will be fed, have presents under the tree, and that she may receive oil to heat her home.
A person approaches a priest in an airport waiting area in the “hope” that his waning faith will be restored.
Someone at their first AA meeting reaches out to a stranger in desperate “hope” of finding help to stop drinking.
“Hope” knows no barriers, does not recognize Jew or Gentile, Protestant or Catholic.
“Hope reigns eternal.”
When someone reaches out to us in “hope” we must always respond lovingly as Jesus did.