August 16, 202
Sr. Phyllis Jaszkowiak
Today’s gospel tells of a mother who wouldn’t take no for an answer. Her daughter was ill and she wanted a cure from the one who cured. When Jesus ignored her, she called out louder.
Jesus’ response was less than inviting as he said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” This time she simply said, “Lord, help me,” as she did him homage.
There was one last exchange between Jesus and the woman. Then Jesus finally saw her and cured her daughter. I was reading an article about this gospel by Sr. Barbara Reid. She postulated that the woman knelt down to do Jesus homage, but more importantly, to block his way. He couldn’t go ahead without bumping into her. It caused him to pause and really SEE who she was. She was no longer an inferior, despised, Canaanite, but a mother concerned for her daughter and wanted a cure.
Yesterday was the feast of the Assumption of Mary. Mary, the mother, helped Jesus grow into being the Messiah. She goaded him into changing water into wine at Cana so a married couple would not be embarrassed. She blocked his way until he did what needed to be done.
This makes me think that the demonstrations for Black Lives Matter are ways of blocking people so that we notice, really see, that things have to change. White supremacy and Racism can no longer be the norm. There has to be changes, in ourselves, in society, real, deep down, systemic change.
The US bishops have written a pastoral letter “Open Wide Our Hearts,” a call for all of us to grow into the equality of all people, that no race is superior to any other. We are all connected and are all brothers and sisters to each other. We need to really SEE each other.
As an aside, to help us gain the knowledge, strength and love to see one another as persons and to block racism be sure to attend the GIFT session on September 13th.
Catholic Social Teaching continues to decry all forms of racial hatred and white supremacy, and we Catholics are called to block the way of white supremacy and racial hatred. The Wall of Moms, in the demonstrations downtown, stood so others wouldn’t get hurt. I applaud their non-violent way of blocking violence, so the real message of Black Lives Matter could continue to be heard.
We follow Jesus, who grew in his humanity so he could look at everyone and see a fellow human being. Jesus acted out of love and non-violence, and continued to grow in knowing God is within us all. We need also to grow in this same awareness.
Let us follow Jesus the Christ who leads the way to heal our society and make it thrive. As Isaiah says, “Observe what is right, do what is just; for my salvation is about to come, my justice about to be revealed.”