From there he set out and went away to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there. Yet he could not escape notice, but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter.
He said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” But she answered him, “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” Then he said to her, “For saying that, you may go—the demon has left your daughter.” So she went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
In today’s Gospel we have the scene where a Greek woman, a foreigner, asks for healing for her daughter. Jesus’ initial response seems out of character. It appears that he only wants to take care of his people, not foreigners. Something about that scene calls to mind the current turmoil in this country in light of the president’s executive order regarding immigrants and refugees. Some people seem only concerned with the welfare of “their own people” rather than the welfare of all.
When we go back to the Gospel and hear the rest of the story we see that Jesus does have genuine care for this woman and her daughter. Her daughter is healed. She, a foreigner, was not banned from God’s healing grace.
How do I welcome the stranger, the alien, or the refugee? Let us pray that we all might do what God wants.
—Margaret Horner currently serves as the Director of Liturgy, Gesu Parish, Milwaukee, WI
Jesus, I feel within me
A great desire to please you
But, at the same time,
I feel totally incapable of doing this
Without your special light and help,
Which I can expect only from you.
Accomplish your will within me—
Even in spite of me.
—St. Claude La Colombiere, S.J.