First Reading: Gen 2:18-25; Psalm: 128. R. v. 1a; Gospel: Mk 7:24-30
FAITH MAKES THE DIFFERENCE
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
The gospel reading of today began by reporting that Jesus arose and went away into the region of Tyre and Sidon. Jesus was actually walking away from his unbelieving Jewish people. The region of Tyre and Sidon was a Pagan dominated area. When Jesus entered this pagan region, he encountered a Gentile woman whose love for her possessed daughter compelled her to go in search of help. When she fell at the feet of Jesus and asked Jesus to heal her daughter, Jesus replied, “Let the children first be fed, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”
These words of Jesus may sound derogatory, but Jesus was only giving this woman an opportunity to express her faith publicly. ‘Dog’ was a contemptuous term used by the Jews to address the Gentiles. But the faith of this woman will go on to prove that she believed in God much more than the Jewish people who claimed to be God’s children yet rejected the Jesus the Son of God. Her reply, “Yes Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs” was a shame and a challenge to those who rejected Jesus. The faith of this Gentile woman saved her daughter.
Those who God blesses are those who show faith in him regardless of religion. Just like Jesus’ people who believed they were God’s chosen people and missed their opportunity to be saved; many Christians today make this mistake. We feel that by becoming a Christian we are more likely to be saved than those who are non believers. We feel that whoever is not among our fold is damned. Of course being a Christian offers us an opportunity to be saved. But what happens when a non Christian loves, forgives, and trusts in God more than we do? Do we think that God will not offer them the reward of their faith in him? Our religion is never a guarantee to our salvation.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, increase our faith in you. Amen.