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He seems heartless in his encounter with the Syrophoenician woman. But Jesus refuses.
He is devoting his efforts to his people, not the Gentiles, he explains. He not only refuses her plea. He calls her a dog—a terrible insult in that culture, and not exactly a compliment in ours. His rationale for refusing to help? He can do only so much. This passage begins as Jesus is trying to escape the crowds who keep demanding more and more of his time and energy. So he retreats into Gentile territory to rest.
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No wonder he sets some limits. Some today argue Americans should not aid foreigners when so many of our own citizens are in need. What swayed Jesus to reconsider his refusal to help the child of a Syrian woman? Since the child is not with her, the sight of a hurting child did not win Jesus over. The Syrophoenician woman had time to get in just one soundbite to make her case. A vivid picture comes with it. Whatever you have leftover will be enough. And he healed the child.
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She bested Jesus at his own verbal game. In all the Gospel stories in which Jesus matches wits with the scribes and Pharisees and Sadducees, this foreign woman is the only person who beats Jesus. Which makes perfect sense to me. It makes perfect sense that a foreigner opened up a new perspective for Jesus.
Because in my experience, the people who are different from me are the ones who have been most successful in helping me see the world differently. Stories from LGBT folks; insights from folks of different races, religions, nationalities, and, yes, political parties; conversations with friends who live differently because they are poorer or richer than I, younger or older.
And heart. And actions. You and I have abundant opportunities to engage in challenging conversations within our diverse congregation and in our larger community. Diversity enriches us, diverse relationships enlighten and strengthen us.
Conversations on race are being sponsored in our city. John Dorhauer. We affect each other. Even that Force of Love and that Source of Life we call God is enlarged somehow whenever we include others. Jesus wins by losing his verbal contest with a bold, insistent woman. We could fail to hear God in our lives. There is a plethora of noise, distractions abound in our world today. We all need to clear a space and time to listen to God speaking to us.
We may also suffer from a spiritual speech impediment and lack the courage and depth to speak of faith to others—with understanding and diplomacy. To those who are engaged in social discourse, Jesus says: be open! Listen respectfully to those with views that are different than your own and speak with honesty and charity-- encouraging dialogue. Try to respond and not react. Forgive each other so that you may be open to listen and speak to each other again in new ways. God loves you! God is with you at every moment.
Go to daily Mass, read scripture, make time for private prayer everyday when you speak to God and then listen for God speaking to you. Carry the presence and knowledge of God and your faith wherever you go. May the God of peace bless you always! Saving Power!! God's Love!! Power to Save!! Counted On and Trusted! Login or Register. Edward Catholic Church.
Ephphatha Radio Malayalam
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