Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc.
5TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Psalter: Week 1 / (Green/White)
St. Jerome Emiliani, priest
St. Josephine bakhita, virgin
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 106: 3-4, 35-36, 37, 40: Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
1st Reading: 1 Kings 11: 4-13
In Solomon’s old age, his wives led him astray to serve other gods and, unlike his father David, his heart was no longer wholly given to Yahweh his God. For he served Astarte the goddess of the Sidonians, and Milcom, the idol of the Ammonites.
He did what displeased Yahweh and, unlike his father David, was unfaithful to him. Solomon even built a high place for Chemosh, the idol of Moab, on the mountain east of Jerusalem and also for Molech, the idol of the Ammonites. He did the same for all his foreign wives who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.
Yahweh became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from Yahweh, the God of Israel. Yahweh appeared to him twice and commanded him not to follow other gods. But he did not obey Yahweh’s command.
Therefore, Yahweh said to Solomon, “Since this has been your choice and you have kept neither my Covenant nor the statutes I commanded you, I will take the kingdom from you and give it to your servant.
Nevertheless, I will not do this during your lifetime for the sake of your father David; I will take it from your son. But I will not take it all; I will reserve one tribe for your son for the sake of David my servant, and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen.”
Gospel: Mk 7: 24-30
When Jesus left that place, he went to the border of the Tyrian country. There, he entered a house, and did not want anyone to know he was there; but he could not remain hidden.
A woman, whose small daughter had an evil spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet. Now this woman was a pagan, a Syrophoenician by birth, and she begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter.
Jesus told her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the puppies.” But she replied, “Sir, even the puppies under the table eat the crumbs from the children’s bread.”
Then Jesus said to her, “You may go your way; because of such a response, the demon has gone out of your daughter.” And when the woman went home, she found her child lying in bed, and the demon gone.
“Reach out to people.”
We are more comfortable dealing with people who look like us and act according to our manner. It is not always easy for us to cross borders in order to reach out to people whose ways are different from our ways. Today’s Gospel narrates Jesus crossing borders, moving into the Tyrian territory. Tyre is outside the territory of Israel.
In modern geography, the biblical Tyre can be located in the southern part of Lebanon along the Mediterranean coast.
According to the Gospel, it is in this place where Jesus encountered the Syrophoenician woman. Her daughter had been possessed by an evil spirit. The woman begged Jesus to drive out the evil spirit but Jesus, at first, seemed to refuse casting out the demon because his mission seemed to focus only on Israel. Jesus eventually cast out the demon for the benefit of the child and her mother.
As we continue our faith journey, we are challenged to expand our sense of mission, reaching out to those who are outside our small territory.
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