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The Syrophoenician woman’s faith

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REFLECTION

Mark 7:24-30

 

Jesus went off 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.

 

Reflection

The children’s scraps. By healing the Syrophoenician woman’s daughter, Jesus declares that while He is sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (cf Mt 15:24), the horizon of His salvific work is everyone, whether Jew or Gentile. The woman’s persistence in expressing her desire despite the obstacles speaks of her great faith in the power of Jesus. Her reply also shows a profound wisdom that disarms Jesus.

We are thus encouraged to be persistent in our pleas towards God while being reasonable in what we ask for. Let us not forget that God looks not at external appearances but into the heart. We may be “foolish” in what we ask for — praying for what may lead us away from God instead of bringing us closer to God. But after proper discernment, we should show persistence, like the woman in the Gospel.

 

Are we willing — like the Syrophoenician woman — to “wrestle” with God to obtain what we desire for?

 

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: books@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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