“He said to her, ‘Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.’ But she answered him, ‘Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.’ Then he said to her, ‘For saying that, you may go– the demon has left your daughter.’” (Mark 7:27-29)
None of us chose our parents. None of us had the privilege of choosing our date of birth or the circumstances surrounding our birth. To be denied certain privileges simply because of my race, colour or religion can be very painful, to say the least. This was the case with the woman in today’s Gospel passage.
She came to Jesus because she had heard so much about him. She believed Jesus could heal her daughter who was possessed by an unclean spirit. I guess she was not expecting to hear Jesus make such a parable with reference to her. This is precisely the point where many of us give up.
There is nothing worth having in this life that does not come with a struggle. Whenever we set out to achieve any dream, we are bound to hit some brick wall along the line. There comes a time when giving up may seem like the most reasonable thing to do. Jesus had just told this woman that it is not fair that her daughter would be healed since the children of God (the Israelites) were yet to receive all the miracles they need.
The lesson for us today is that this woman refused to give up. She knew she had just met a brick wall but her faith in Jesus was strong enough to turn that wall into a stepping stone. She even added a sense of humour to it by saying that even the dogs feed on the crumbs that fall from the children’s table. This woman simply refused to take “No” for an answer.
Jesus was so impressed by her response that he immediately granted her request. The saying goes that the road to success is never a smooth ride but an untarred road marred by so many pot-holes called “failure”, our safe arrival depends on our ability to keep going no matter how many times we fail.
Solomon was very young when he became King of Israel. In humble admission of his youthful age, Solomon prayed for wisdom to reign. However, when Solomon became old, he let his many wives turn his heart away from God. Solomon went as far as building temples for pagan idols. God appeared to Solomon twice but Solomon refused to heed these warnings. This is quite a sad end to a very pleasant beginning.
Solomon’s experience teaches us that wisdom comes from God and we are wise only to the extent that we remain in close union with God. As the Psalmist says: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” (Psalm 111:10, also Cf. Proverbs 9:10, 15:33). The moment Solomon lost his fear of God, he was no longer as wise as he would have been. Without God, we are nothing.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, deepen my faith that I may never give up on you. Amen.
Bible Study: 1 Kings 11:4-13, Ps. 106:3-4,35-37,40, Mark 7:24-30).