THURSDAY, MEMORIAL OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES
Gen 2: 18-25 or Is 66:10-14;
Ps 128: 1-5;
Mk 7: 24-30
THE POWER OF INTERCESSION
In order to understand the compassion of Jesus towards the Syrophoenician woman in today’s Gospel, let us meditate on the three vital elements around which the narrative is placed, and observe how they are intertwined purposefully – a mother’s heart, the role of intercession, and Jesus’ mission.
- Jesus, having ended this day actively working among the people, was tired and finally found a place to rest, far from the crowds. Yet, a Greek woman, someone considered lowly by the Jews dared to wait to meet Jesus. She was a mother. And that drove her to be courageous and persistent. Unafraid of the consequences, she ventured on to encounter Jesus – face to face. Her maternal love for her child surpassed all inhibitions, disparity of race, or fear of rejection. Like most mothers, she would give it her all.
- Similarly, the Lord calls each one of us to stand in the gap and become an intercessor for his people, especially those spiritually distant. He wishes us to coax him and nudge his heart through our courage, faith and perseverant prayer, on behalf of those who cannot reach him or do not have access to his holy presence. In today’s account, demons were cast out through the intercession of a determined woman of faith.
- The story also throws light on the mission of our Lord. As John tells us; “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (Jn 2:17). This Gospel passage truly shows the mercy and love of Jesus who was willing to let go of all previously established boundaries on account of her humility and his own love and mercy. It also confirms the success of simply ‘asking’ God, earnestly and without reserve.
With a maternal heart, let us pray so as to turn the eyes of Christ to the needs of our brothers and sisters throughout the world, through the free gift of intercessory prayer.
Responsorial Psalm: Blessed are all who fear the Lord.
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