Twilight Twitches

canaanitewomanDear Sisters and Brothers,
As I sit at the computer, staring at a blank page on Monday evening, I realize (once again) what a gifted Pastor we have. Monsignor Jim is able to write a fresh “Twitch” every week in addition to preparing a homily for the weekend Masses, as well as for the daily Masses. And here I sit, staring at a blank page. Come, Holy Spirit...

Today’s readings are very interesting, particularly the first and the Gospel. Both speak of foreigners. Isaiah reminds us that the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord and minister to Him - all who keep the sabbath - shall be brought to His holy mountain. The house of the Lord shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples. Israel was to be “a light to the nations,” so that God’s salvation might reach to the ends of the earth, and now that was coming to fruition. Foreigners who were faithful to the Lord, were being brought to the holy mountain.

Then we move to the Gospel, where we meet one tough and persistent woman! The Canaanite woman was not part of the house of Israel. She was a foreigner, yet - in her desperation to help her daughter - she approached Jesus and begged for his help. It appears that Jesus completely ig¬nores the woman at first, saying that he was only sent to those of the house of Israel. But this tough woman persisted, doing Jesus homage and asking for his help. He calls the woman a dog, and she comes right back at him, saying that even the dogs get the scraps that fall from the table. I wonder what was going through Jesus’ mind during that exchange. Was he trying to make a point to his disciples who wanted Jesus to just send her away? He shows that he was open to the possibility that God could work through the “unlikely” channel of a Canaanite ... and a woman at that...to expand the Kindgom of God.
 
It’s pretty difficult, I think, to hear these passages and not think about the issues of refugees and immigrants in our own time. It’s not a question of being conservative or liberal, democrat or republican. It’s a question of being a Catholic Christian, one who hears the Word of God and lives it. We are called to be people informed and motivated by the Gospel. As the saying goes, “What would Jesus do?”

The reality is that when Jesus walked on the earth, things were very different, but some things remain the same. The people of his time certainly didn’t have to worry about the possibility of nuclear war, but there were powerful people who abused their power, and created fear among people. (Some of the Roman emperors come to mind).

So how do we take those events that we hear from the Scriptures on Sundays - things that happened long ago - and translate their meaning into today’s world? I think the first step is to take time. Take some time on a regular basis to just read and think about a small section of one of the books of the Bible. Just sit quietly with it, and think about it and let the Holy Spirit lead you.

We are nourished by the Word of God, as well as the Eucharist. I invite you to come together with other members of our Parish Family to reflect upon the Scriptures. There is the Bible Coffee Time that meets on Thursday mornings, and the Bible Study that will begin meeting again on Mon¬day evenings in late September. I pray that each of us will continue to truly hear the Word of God in our hearts and live it in our world.

Blessings and peace,
sign annie

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