The Gospel Today
Thursday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Jesus went to the district of Tyre.
He entered a house and wanted no one to know about it,
but he could not escape notice.
Soon a woman whose daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him.
She came and fell at his feet.
The woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth,
and she begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter.
He said to her, “Let the children be fed first.
For it is not right to take the food of the children
and throw it to the dogs.”
She replied and said to him,
“Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s scraps.”
Then he said to her, “For saying this, you may go.
The demon has gone out of your daughter.”
When the woman went home, she found the child lying in bed
and the demon gone.
Reflection (Sem. Ernesto Sican):
The Syrophoenician woman in the Gospel had only one wish, that Jesus would free her daughter from the possession of the evil spirit. The woman was willing to undergo humiliation for her daughter’s sake.
The woman was a mother and as a motherly instinct, it was natural for her to look for the welfare of her daughter more than her own. That is one thing that I really admire with mothers. They are willing to sacrifice, to give up their own needs and wants for the love of their children.
I would like to share my personal experience of a mother’s love for her children. We are eight in the family and my father’s salary is not enough for the family. There was scarcity of food on our table. To help meet our daily needs, my mother would weave sleeping mats out of local materials. In the morning my mother would weave and let my siblings do the finishing touches. Before evening the mat or “banig” would be finished and so we had to bring it to the store in exchange for rice. The rice would be cooked like a porridge so that all of us could eat. What I could not forget is that, my mother would eat only the soup of the porridge and give the rest to us. That experience would always remind me of how much my mother loves us.
Jesus said that there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for a friend. Without doubt I always believe that our mothers will lay down their lives for us without hesitation. Although there are mothers who would abandon their children, these are only isolated cases and maybe they are simply victims of unfavorable circumstances.
The woman in the Gospel was persistent to Jesus about her request for her daughter. Jesus in the end gave in to the woman’s request not only because of her persistence, more so, Jesus saw her faith. The woman’s faith moved Jesus to heal her daughter. Miracles still happen to those who have faith. Even the impossible becomes possible when there is faith. It is a good reminder for us that even in hopeless situations, we need to be hopeful and renew our faith because God is always watching us, always ready to help us. Let us call him in faith.