THURSDAY, FIFTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Gn 2: 18-25; Ps 128: 1-5; Mk 7: 24-30
GOD DELAYS, NEVER DENIES
We all know Jesus as loving, caring and welcoming. But, what a seemingly frigid reception from Jesus the Syrophoenician woman in the gospel received as she came to Him in her dire need. “He answered her not a word.” Could this be the gracious Helper and Healer she had heard so much about, who though anticipated the needs of others, was withdrawing from her? How this attitude of the ever merciful One must have startled her. This strange reception was far from the infinite beneficence she had heard of and the miracles of power she had probably witnessed. Jesus “The Word” had no word for her aching heart. He was deaf to her appeal, but not to that of others who had come from Tyre and Sidon (Lk 6:17).
Could it be that Christ was like her old Canaanite deity, not regarding human woe? Where was His help now as “the Husband of the Widow and the Father of the fatherless”? Usually, His patients and suppliants were healed at the first word, or led up to their cure by some statement or question but why this absolute silence in her case?
The woman was to learn that behind a frowning face, He hid a smiling face. Because of His omniscience, He knew all about the woman from Canaan and what had brought her to Him, just as He knew all about His disciples “toiling in rowing,” although He was not with them. Like a skillful physician, He adapted Himself to each person’s peculiarity. He knew all about Abraham’s faith before God greatly tried him, and He was likewise conscious of the persistence of this woman’s faith before He tried it on the shore of Canaan.
Likewise, in our life we too wonder and think, when our prayers are not answered or we do receive a quick response to our plea that God is not listening to our prayers or he is deaf to our cry. But God because of His omniscience knows our needs before we ask them (Mt 6:8). God sometimes delays, never denies them.
Response: Blessed are all who fear the Lord.
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