Feb 10, 2011 - Thursday Meditation (Taste of Heaven!)
Gentiles were “dogs” to the Jews. When she made her request Jesus said that the children should eat first and that it is not right to take the food prepared first for the children and throw it to the dogs. Her response? I don’t need the food on the table. All I need is equivalent to what a dog might have given to it under the table by one of the kids. A “scrap” is all I need. A scrap? She is asking him to heal her daughter. A scrap! If that is a “scrap,” what would the full meal be? Be Blessed today with a taste of Heaven! :-) Memorial of St. Scholastica Genesis 2:18-25 Psalm 128:1-2, 3, 4-5 Mark 7:24-30 And from there he arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon . And he entered a house, and would not have any one know it; yet he could not be hid. 25 But immediately a woman, whose little daughter was possessed by an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell down at his feet. 26 Now the woman was a Greek, a Syrophoeni'cian by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27 And he said to her, "Let the children first be fed, for it is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." 28 But she answered him, "Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs." 29 And he said to her, "For this saying you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter." 30 And she went home, and found the child lying in bed, and the demon gone. Meditation by George Butterfield (Creighton) We do not know very much about St. Scholastica whose memory we celebrate today. She was the sister of St. Benedict, dedicated her life to God at a very early age, and founded a monastery of nuns among whom she lived and died. I am a member of the Brothers & Sisters of Charity, a public association of the faithful, and we ask St. Scholastica to pray for us every day. St. Francis and St. Clare are invoked and this reminds us of our mission in the world. When I invoke the names of St. Benedict and St. Scholastica, I realize the need to live the contemplative life. We may be busy domestics but what earthly good will all of our good work be if God is not bearing fruit in our hearts? The first reading from Genesis presents God’s attitude toward the human being he had made. “It’s not good for him to be alone. I’ll make a suitable partner for him.” Then God parades all of the animals before Adam. Adam gives them names but he cannot find a suitable partner. Personally, I love animals but God knew and Adam figured out that no animal can be a suitable partner for a human being. We are wired for human contact. I love the response of Adam when he finally sees Eve for the first time – “at last.” That is the Hebrew equivalent of the English word “Wow!” There is such a complementarity between them that the two become one. They cling to each other and experience humanity in all of its fullness. The psalmist sets forth the blessings of those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways. All of the images in the psalm speak of fruitfulness. Your work turns to gold, your spouse is like a fruitful vine, your children like olive plants, and you live to see Jerusalem prosper. The Gospel lesson is the story of Jesus’ interaction with a non-Jewish woman who comes to him to exorcize her daughter. Some have suggested that this story is of a slowly maturing Jesus who finally is brought to the realization of his worldwide mission by this persistent woman. I do not understand this story this way. In fact, the story is not so much about Jesus as about this woman. Gentiles were “dogs” to the Jews. When she made her request Jesus said that the children should eat first and that it is not right to take the food prepared first for the children and throw it to the dogs. Her response? I don’t need the food on the table. All I need is equivalent to what a dog might have given to it under the table by one of the kids. A “scrap” is all I need. A scrap? She is asking him to heal her daughter. A scrap! If that is a “scrap,” what would the full meal be? Jesus comes bringing the eucharistic banquet first to the Jewish people, and only later to the Gentiles. This woman says, in essence, I do not want to wait. I do not need the full meal. A scrap will do. Jesus gives her that scrap. Is there a common theme in the readings and the life of St. Scholastica? God makes our lives fruitful. The God who does this is the one to whom healing a person is like a scrap of food thrown to the dogs. If this is the case, I wonder what it will be like to sit down at the banquet table of the Lord in the kingdom of God ? Supplementary Reading The Way to Get Ahead “Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run; hurry and scurry puts you further behind” - Proverbs 21:5 It’s amazing how taking a few minutes at the start of each day to plan and set your thoughts in the right direction can help you get ahead and empower you to accomplish so much more. But too often, people get so caught up in the activity of life that they tend to just “go with the flow” instead. Of course, I’m not saying we shouldn’t be flexible, but when it comes to your life, you should be the one setting the flow. Of course, unexpected things happen. Our days won’t always go according to plan, but if you’ll take time each day to set your heart and mind in the right direction, you’ll be equipped for whatever comes your way! Today I encourage you, make plans to start your day right and set your thoughts in the right direction. Put God first place. Let Him guide you and order your steps. Even if it’s just five minutes a day, make spending time with Him a habit. Plan your day with Him because careful planning is the way to get ahead. Father God, right now, I dedicate my days to You. I choose to put You first place in everything that I do. Give me the strength to make wise choices and teach me to listen to Your voice always. I bless You and honor You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen. — Joel & Victoria Osteen
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