Thursday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
(I Kings 11:4-13; Mark 7:24-30)
Where Solomon in today’s first reading cannot set a limit on pleasing others, Jesus shows himself capable of doing so in the gospel. The wise Solomon has grown foolish with age by pandering to the wishes of his foreign wives. He allows them to offer sacrifices to gods who do not exist. He thus offends the Lord who insists, “Thou shalt not have strange gods beside me.”
In the gospel Jesus retreats to a border area so that he might rest. But people there have heard about him and come to him for help. He tries to put off the pagan woman, but she persists. In the end her belief in Jesus overcomes his need of rest. He heals her ailing daughter of the unclean spirit. Jesus demonstrates once again that there is no limit to his love. Ultimately he will die on the cross to show the vastness of that love.
We should not hesitate to go to Jesus with our needs. He will help in every case. We may not experience what we ask of him, but we will turn out stronger and more complete human beings. Even non-Christians can go to Jesus with their requests. After all, whether people believe it or not, he is ruler of all the universe.