One Minute Reflection – 5 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” – Wednesday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Jeremiah 31:1-7, Responsorial psalm Jeremiah 31:10-13, Matthew 15:21-28 and the Memorial of the Dedication of Mary Major
And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. … Matthew 15:21
REFLECTION – “Jesus came out of Israel …: “Jesus went from that place and withdrew to the region of Tyre” (Mt 15:21), a name which means “gathering of the nations.” This was so, that, from among the people of that territory, those who believed might be saved when they came out from it.
Now, pay attention to these words: “And behold, a Canaanite woman, coming out of that district, called out saying: ‘Have pity on me, Lord, son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon’” (v. 22). Now in my opinion, if she had not withdrawn from that territory she would not have been able to call out to Jesus with cries that sprang from “great faith,” as the Lord Himself testified (v. 28).
It is “according to the measure of our faith” (Rm 12:6) that we come out from the territory of the pagan nations … We must certainly believe that each one of us, so long as he is a sinner, finds himself in the region of Tyre or Sidon, of Pharaoh or Egypt, or of some other land alien to God’s inheritance. But when sinners abandon their wrongdoing, turning back to the good, they withdraw from those regions where sin dwells and hasten to the regions that are the portion of God …
Notice, too, the sort of journey Jesus makes to meet the Canaanite woman, for he seems to be going towards the region of Tyre and Sidon …. The righteous are directed towards the kingdom of heaven and elevation into the Kingdom of God but sinners are directed towards the outcome of their evildoing …
The Canaanite woman, by leaving these territories, also left that tendency towards decadence, when she cried out and said: “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David” … All the miracles accomplished by Jesus, as the evangelists have told them, took place, then, so that those who saw them might have faith. But those events are the symbol of what is always been brought about by Jesus’ power, for there is no age when what was written is not being realised in exactly the same way.” … Origen (c 185-253) Priest and Theologian, Church Father – Commentary on Saint Matthew’s gospel, Book XI, ch. 16
PRAYER – Forgive the sins of Your people Lord and since of ourselves, we are unable to do what pleases You, lead us on the way of salvation in Your divine Son who lives in us and gives us life. May the prayers of Mary, His Mother help us to constantly meditate on His eternal sustenance. He is our food, our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.