One Minute Reflection – 13 February – Thursday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: 1 Kings11:4-13, Psalm 106:3-4, 35-37, 40, Mark 7:24-30 and the Memorial of Blessed Archangela Girlani (1460-1494)
“Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” … Mark 7:28
REFLECTION – “When she came up to Jesus the Canaanite woman just said these words: “Have pity on me” (Mt 15:22) and her repeated cries drew a large crowd of people. It was a touching sight to see this woman crying out with such great feeling, a mother pleading on behalf of her daughter, a child who was so severely possessed. (…) She didn’t say: “Have pity on my daughter” but “Have pity on me.” “My daughter is not aware of her plight but I, I experience sufferings in profusion, it makes me ill to see her in such a state, I am almost out of my mind at seeing her like this.” (…)
Jesus answered her: “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel ” (Mt 15:24) Now what did the Canaanite woman do when she heard these words? Did she lose heart? Not in the least! She urged him even more. This is not what we do when our prayers are not answered – we turn away in discouragement, whereas, we ought to be pleading even more insistently. Who, it is true, would not be discouraged by Jesus’ response? His silence would have been enough to take away all hope. (…) This woman, however, does not lose heart, on the contrary, she comes nearer to Him and bows to the ground, saying: “Lord, help me” (v.25) (…) If I am a little dog in this house then I am no longer a foreigner. I well know that food is necessary for children (…) but it cannot be forbidden to give away crumbs. They should not be refused me (…) because I am a little dog who cannot be pushed aside.”
It was because he foresaw her answer that Christ delayed to grant her prayer (…) His replies were not intended to cause this woman pain but, to reveal this hidden treasure.” … St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor of the Church – Homilies on Saint Matthew’s Gospel, no.52, § 2
PRAYER – Lord support us as we pray, protect us day and night. Grant us the grace of total trust and teach us to hear Your Voice and do Your Will. May the prayers of Blessed Archangela Girlani (1460-1494), help us and strengthen us that we may grow in worthiness to receive Your grace. Through our Lord Jesus Christ in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.