Jesus went to the border of the Tyrian country. There He entered a house and did not want anyone to know He was there, but He could not remain hidden. A woman, whose small daughter had an evil spirit, heard of him and came and fell at his feet. Now this woman was a pagan, a Syrophoenician by birth, and she begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter. Jesus told her, «Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs». But she replied, «Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the crumbs from the children's bread». Then Jesus said to her, «You may go your way; because of such a reply the demon has gone out of your daughter». And when the woman went home, she found her child lying in bed and the demon gone.
I would like to invite you all to look into the desire of this pagan lady to meet and the deep faith that she had in the healing power of Jesus. Jesus entering into the house is symbolically entering into the heart of every human being. God makes Himself available to us
Many of us get struck sometime with the immediate response of God which we haven’t wished or the long divine silence before our sincere prayers. Whom am I to enter into judgment of the way God functions? Why He did it, only Jesus can explain to us. If there is something that we can profit from this event is, her own perseverance and her ability to address Jesus as her master.
It’s her faith in Jesus has brought salvation to her child. Our strong faith in God is capable of taking us towards God, as if God has come to visit us. It’s not in faith that God come towards us, rather in faith we feel the divine presence close to us, because God is always there with us. A just word of Jesus could console her and give her the joy. Paradoxically, though the fruit of this joy is not presently perceived, before the source of the joy.
Action of the day: Perseverance et confidence
«A woman, whose small daughter had an evil spirit, heard of him and came and fell at his feet»
Fr. Enric CASES i Martín
Today, we see the faith of a woman that did not belong to God's chosen people, but trusted Jesus could cure her daughter. That mother «was a pagan, a Syrophoenician by birth, and she begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter» (Mk 7:26). Pain and love bring her to insistently beg, ignoring scorn, delays or indignities. And she gets what she is asking for, as she «went home, and she found her child lying in bed and the demon gone» (Mk 7:30).
Saint Augustine used to say that our prayers are not heard because we ask «aut mali, aut male, aut mala». “Mali”, because we are evil, for that our personal dispositions are not good, or they are bad, and we should be asking for, in the first place, to become good; “male” because we pray badly, without faith, not persevering, not humbly; “mala” because we ask for bad things, that is, things which are not good for us, things which can harm us. In the last analysis, prayer is ineffective when it is not true prayer. Therefore, «Pray. In what human venture could you have greater guarantee of success?» (Josemaria Escrivà). The Syrophenician woman is a good mother; she was begging something good («she begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter») and she begged rightly («and came and fell at his feet»).
Our Lord wants us to use insistently the petition prayer or prayer of faith. There are, indeed, other kinds of prayers —worship, salvation, prayer of thanks—, but Jesus insists very much on our often using the petition prayer.
Why? Many could be the reasons: because we need God's help to attain our greatest aim; because it expresses hope and love; because it is a clamor of faith. But there is also a motive that, perhaps, is sometimes ignored: God wants things to be a little as we like them. Thus, our petition —which is an act of freedom— along with God's omnipotent power, can contribute to make the world as God wishes and a little as we wish, too. The power of prayer is just wonderful!