The following reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager (c) 2015, whose website is located at DailyScripture.net
Do you ever feel “put-off” by the Lord? This passage describes the only occasion in which Jesus ministered outside of Jewish territory. (Tyre and Sidon were fifty miles north of Israel and still exist today in modern Lebanon.) A Gentile woman an outsider who was not a member of the chosen people puts Jesus on the spot by pleading with him to show mercy to her daughter who was tormented with an evil spirit. At first Jesus seemed to pay no attention to her, and this made his disciples feel embarrassed. Jesus very likely did this not to put the woman off, but rather to test her sincerity and to awaken faith in her.
What did Jesus mean by the expression “throwing bread to the dogs”? The Jews often spoke of the Gentiles with arrogance and insolence as “unclean dogs” since the Gentiles were excluded from God’s covenant and favor with Israel. For the Greeks the “dog” was a symbol of dishonor and was used to describe a shameless and audacious woman. Matthew’s Gospel records the expression do not give dogs what is holy (Matthew 7:6). Jesus, no doubt, spoke with a smile rather than with an insult because this woman immediately responds with wit and faith – “even the dogs eat the crumbs”. Jesus praises a Gentile woman for her persistent faith and for her affectionate love. She made the misery of her child her own and she was willing to suffer rebuff in order to obtain healing for her loved one. She also had indomitable persistence. Her faith grew in contact with the person of Jesus. She began with a request and she ended on her knees in worshipful prayer to the living God. No one who ever sought Jesus with faith whether Jew or Gentile was refused his help. Do you seek Jesus with expectant faith?
“Lord Jesus, your love and mercy knows no bounds. May I trust you always and never doubt your loving care and mercy. Increase my faith in your saving help and deliver me from all evil and harm.”
The following reflection is courtesy of PresentationMinistries.com (c) 2015. Their website is located at PresentationMinistries.com
STRIKE THE ORIGINAL MATCH
“The Lord God said: ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him.’ ” Genesis 2:18
God created a suitable partner for Adam, the first man. This partner was so perfect a match for Adam that he could call her “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh” (Gn 2:23). Eve literally completed Adam’s flesh; she was created out of the missing piece of Adam’s body, his rib. In becoming one with Eve, Adam’s missing piece (Gn 2:21) was restored and they were both made whole.
A young person who has discerned the call to a married vocation should ponder these words: “Are you free of a wife (or husband)? If so, do not go in search of one” (1 Cor 7:27). God has created a suitable partner for you. The key to beginning your married vocation is to allow God to put you and your suitable partner together. God’s Word tells you not to search for a spouse. Just continually seek to serve God in your present state in life, and allow him to bring your future spouse into your life (see Mt 6:33). God is extremely talented and creative in matchmaking. His only hindrance is when we get impatient, choose our own spouse, and do not wait for Him to unfold His perfect plan.
For those who are already married, if your marriage is less than perfect, it’s tempting to wonder if you jumped the gun and married the wrong person. Reflect on this passage: “Are you bound to a wife (or husband)? If so, do not seek your freedom” (1 Cor 7:27). Jesus can make all things new (Rv 21:5). He performed his first miracle at a wedding, changing the empty into the full and beautiful, far surpassing the quality of what existed before (Jn 2:1ff). Even now, God can make you into suitable partners.
Prayer: “Teach me, Lord, to wait” for Your perfect timing. Promise: “Happy are you who fear the Lord, who walk in His ways!” Psalm 128:1 Praise: Joan quietly asked the Lord to give her rose petals as a sign that she should marry Bill. The next day, her sister gave her a bag full of them. (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant my permission to publish One Bread, One Body covering the period from February 1, 2015 through March 31, 2015.
Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 25, 2014.
The rescript is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted ecclesial permission agree with the contents, opinions, or statements