February 10, Thursday, Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
St. Scholastica, Virgin
Readings: 1 Kings 11:4-13 & Mark 7:24-30
Having "great faith" is frequently regarded as something all Christians should strive for, but what is great faith? Humble Confidence in Christ is a Sign of Great Faith.
Today's Gospel reading begins with Jesus attempting to flee the crowds. Jesus was exhausted and in need of rest and prayer. He desired to locate a location where he and his disciples could be alone and unwind.
Jesus was approached, however, by a Canaanite woman whose daughter possessed an unclean spirit. She begs Jesus to exorcise the demon from her daughter, and after initially ignoring her, Jesus responds by recalling his mission to only go to Israel. The woman begs Jesus once more, kneeling in front of him, and Jesus responds, "First feed the children, for it is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." As shocking as this comment is, Jesus praises her tremendous faith in response to it.
The woman exemplifies excellent faith in her encounter with Jesus. It is both humble and self-assured. When one of these characteristics is lacking, we begin to veer off course.
She concurs with Jesus' assessment of her unworthiness. However, she understands that Jesus' mercy is more significant and profound than her inequity. If we approach God with the attitude that we deserve a seat at the table based on our righteousness or our status as "better than" others, we expose our lack of humility and will never be granted a seat at the table.
Accepting Jesus requires us to cling to His mercy. We must adhere to Jesus' worthiness and compassion and approach God based on Christ's goodness, not our own.
Jesus is taken aback by the woman's faith and courage, and he informs her immediately that the demon has left her daughter. And when the woman returned home, her daughter was fine!
Where have you recently lacked faith? How can the Gospel help you grow in faith?
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.