Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thursday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

(I Kings 11:4-13; Mark 7:24-30)

Inhabitants of the Northern Hemisphere are beginning to think about their summer vacation. Spending two to three of recreation in another locale has become so much part of the contemporary way of life that months of planning and sizeable resources are given to the project. In the gospel Jesus seems to be taking a vacation which explains part of his reluctance to assist the Greek woman.

Mark writes that Jesus hopes to escape notice when he enters a house in in the foreign city of Tyre. He is probably worn out from intensive preaching and the never ending stream of sick persons seeking his help. Although he is not inclined to see more people for a while, he has a better reason for not going to the woman’s bedeviled daughter. He can honestly tell the woman that his mission is to Israel, not for the moment at least to the world. But the woman refuses rejection. She calls Jesus “Lord” and indicates that she would accept any assistance that he might give. Always merciful, Jesus acknowledges her faith by granting her daughter deliverance.

Faith proves to be a critical element in experiencing the Kingdom of God. Faith tells us not to dictate completely what Jesus is to do for us although there is nothing wrong with some specificity regarding our needs. More importantly, we are to trust implicitly in his love for us. Almost certainly then we will experience wonders.