Posted by: fvbcdm | February 10, 2012

Feast of Saint Adrian (9 Feb 2012)

In the gospel of today’s Mass, we have a delightful little event in the life of Jesus that teaches us something about his personality. He and the apostles are north of the Holy Land, in the Syro-Phoenician region of Tire and Sidon.  A woman of that area who was not Jewish had heard of his ability to heal and to deliver from evil spirits, and she desperately wanted to enlist his power on behalf of her daughter who was possessed by a demon.  She threw herself at Our Lord’s feet and begged this favor.  


To give to those standing by, and to us, a lesson in faith and trust, he said to her—in what seemed like a brusque, abrupt manner, “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.”  The words mean that the Lord is comparing his own Jewish people to the children in a family, and their pet dogs to the non-Jewish people in that part of the Mediterranean seacoast.  This woman is very clever; she grasps his meaning right away, but seizes upon it to her own advantage and that of her daughter.  She responds, “Please, Lord.  Even the dogs under the table eat of the family’s leavings”!  In other words, “Call me and my daughter dogs if you like, Sir, but then treat us as you would treat a pet dog hanging around your table as dogs so often do, to catch any scrap of food that is tossed to it.”  She can’t afford to be offended by his seeming insult; she is too concerned about her daughter to take offense.  So she is saying, “Call me what you like, but GIVE ME WHAT I AM BEGGING FOR!”


Our Lord is totally won over by her trust, humility, and cleverness. He says what she is dying to hear:  “For such a reply, be off now.  The demon has already left your daughter.” Saint Mark tells us by way of concluding the story that when she got home, she found the child lying peacefully in bed, and the demon gone.


We’ve all had moments when God seemed to be saying NO to our requests.  But God loves us, and the loving Father does not hand a snake to a hungry child when the child asks for a fish, or a stone when the child asks for an egg.  Let us pray with constancy and confidence and allow Our heavenly Father to respond to our prayers according to HIS time-table, not ours.  Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.


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