August 17, 2008


O woman, great is your faith! – Mt. 15: 28

This Canaanite woman (we are not even given a name) may have been both assertive & noisy, but she was also insightful: unlike many of His own countrymen, she knew who & what Jesus was. He was Jewish but also the Lord of all. Her persistence has revealed a deeper truth about Him, namely, that His mission reaches beyond the chosen people to everyone.

Her confrontational approach is born of a desperate need – not hers, but that of her daughter. She cannot take no for an answer. Herein lies the greatness of her faith: her single-minded devotion to the cause of getting help for her daughter. Jesus was not often swayed by the wishes of other people because He was driven by the will of His Father. It must have been the voice of His Father that He heard in her creative response to His rejection. That’s what turned Him around so quickly.

When was the last time we were desperate enough not just to ask for help, but to get creative about obtaining it? Being desperate does not have to mean we are helpless. It can inspire us to go beyond our usual mediocrity to do things we might never have thought of otherwise. We can & sometimes do surprise ourselves about the personal resources we actually have rather than just wallow in self-pity.

When I first started running, 6 miles (10 K) seemed awfully far. I never dreamed at the time that I would someday run 26 miles (a marathon), or that along the way to getting there I would discover physical & spiritual resources I never suspected I had. Catching fire with love for Christ often produces similar results. That is what makes the spiritual life so interesting if not exciting at times.

Remarks on being at St. Bede’s …. AMEN!