In Mark’s gospel, Jesus responds to the Syrophoenician woman who has asked for her daughter to be healed, that the family children come before the family dogs. He is really saying, “ you, a Syrophoenician, are not of our Jewish family. I am here to tend to my family, not yours.” The woman’s response, “ah yes sir but the house dogs under the table can eat the children’s scraps” evokes Jesus’ compassion. Jesus heals her daughter.
Maybe the woman’s faith in Jesus’ power to heal challenged Jesus to be open to persons who were not Jewish but who believed in him. This is a form of loyalty. Who are the people now who are challenging you to move beyond your comfort zones, broaden your beliefs, to widen your loyalties?
Maybe at this troubled time in our world, we need some of our pet beliefs, loyalties, and attitudes to be jostled. Perhaps we are being invited to a change of heart. Only you and your God know the changes being asked of you.
You and I can pray to Jesus to help us be open to change as he was with this loving Mother.
By Joan Lanahan