Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: Aug.4, Lectionary # 409. Jeremiah 7:1-7. Jer.31:10.11-12.13.
Jeremiah is now in the middle of the prophesies he has given to the people
and its leaders. Now the promises of God and a spirit of hope is seen in
them. Renewal and restoration are featured in the prophetic words. The
Psalm is a continuation from Jeremiah rather than from the book of Psalms.
It is a proper response to the promise with its praise and its realization
of God’s fidelity. The covenant is renewed and restored on the part of the
people. Exile will come about but the promise is there. “The Lord has
delivered his people, the remnant of Israel.” God’s living voice comes
through Jeremiah: “With age-old love I have loved you. Again I restore
you.” Then we and Israel respond, “The Lord has delivered his people…I
will console and gladden them after their sorrows.”
Jesus again moves on to other places and is approached by a Canaanite woman
whose daughter is troubled by a demon (perhaps, a case of mental problems).
She, the Canaanite, cries out, “Lord, son of David, have pity on me.” Jesus
puts her off with strong words that tells her that he is healing Israel,
his own people not her and her people. He even uses the term “dog” to
refer to the Canaanites, but she, so to speak, hangs in there patiently and
does him one better with her witty comeback. The crumbs that fall from the
table of the master are quickly licked up by the pups beneath the master’s
table. Her wisdom and humility are so convincing that Jesus is amazed and
tells her, “Woman, you have great faith. Your wish will come to pass.”
Matthew then adds: “That very moment her daughter got better.”
Prayer consists in such an exchange that dialogues with Jesus and ourself.
We,too, should be patient and wise in our petitions to the Lord. By humbly
presenting them and by our persistence they will be heard. “Seek and ye
shall find, knock and it shall be opened to us in the surprising way God
works within our hearts when we have a strong faith like the woman who
begged Jesus to help cure her daughter. Amen.