February 8, 2018 – Thursday in the 5th week of Ordinary time

Saint for the day:Josephine Bakhita (c. 1869 – Feb. 8, 1947)

Scripture Readings for today’s Liturgy:

1 Kings 11:4-13 – Ps. 106 – Mark 7:24-30

Foreigners often play a significant role in the Gospel accounts of healings and cures, Our understanding of who is invited into Christ’s redeeming love is often put on the line. Our following of Jesus always stretches us beyond our own limited view of things.

In our reading from 1 Kings Solomon’s faith in the one God is challenged by his foreign wives who bring in their various “gods” for him to consider. He, like his father, David, falls out of favor with God but in the same way that God dealt with David, God holds back His wrath because He sees something worth saving. So, once again, we are reminded that we never see the total picture and often make our judgments based on fragmentary evidence. Remember how David was first called and how we are given that warning, “God doesn’t just look at the outward appearance but sees to the inner depth of the heart (my own, loose translation.) These stories remind us that we can have a kind of inter-action with God. In this Gospel, the Syrophoenician women gets into a “tet-a-tet” with Jesus. It reminds me of the same thing that happened when God was going to wipe out Sodom and Gomorrah “… what if there were ten less than…” We, on the other hand, jump to conclusions while God stretches his love and mercy to include rather than exclude.

All we have to do is look at any part of our world today where there is turmoil and we can see that at its root is some degree of a stance, “I’m inside and you’re outside and unacceptable.”

Our Scripture readings in these day before we begin Lent are telling us over and over again that we need to “put on the mind of Christ” and try as best we can to see with God’s eyes that there just might be something worth saving in …(here you can insert any person, place or thing) that God sees better than we do. Amen!

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