14.02.2020 — Jesus silences his own identity

Posted under Reflections on February 13th, 2020 by

Week 5 of Ordinary Time, Friday – 14th February — Gospel: Mark 7,31-37

Jesus silences his own identity

After the healing of a deaf and dumb man, Jesus enjoins strict silence on the man who can now speak and on the witnesses. Why would Jesus not want people to spread the news? Perhaps their focus would be on a spectacular outward feat, obscuring the real meaning of his Messiahship. Because Jesus’ miracles point to the truth of his messianic identity. The fact that they violate his directive focuses the attention on the question of Jesus’ identity. Even though their understanding is incomplete, the people of the Decapolis cannot contain their excitement about the marvelous deeds done by Jesus. The readers are made to wonder, why the people are quietened while Jesus opened the mouth of the dumb man. Indeed, we come to know that there is more to Jesus than that he can heal the sick. This is proven in the crowds mini confession of faith (7,37), that alludes to Isaiah 35,5-6. Through their exclamations Mark wants his readers to understand that Jesus is the agent of God’s salvation and that Israel’s glorious future is present in the ministry of Jesus. Further, he wants to emphasize that Jesus has performed a role that Scripture ascribes to God alone (Ex 4,11; Wis 10,21).

13.02.2020 — Woman of indomitable faith

Posted under Reflections on February 12th, 2020 by

Week 5 of Ordinary Time, Thursday – 13th February — Gospel: Mark 7,24-30

Woman of indomitable faith

In this striking incident Syrophoenician woman turns out to be a model of Christian faith. She is not the last person who has come to Jesus with an urgent request. She is neither discouraged nor disheartened by the apparent setback with Jesus’ behaviour. The remarkable thing is that how she corrects Jesus. She turns Jesus’ words around and bends the dog metaphor to her advantage. Jesus recognizes this immediately and dismisses the demon from her daughter. She perseveres in intrepid confidence. Somehow what she has heard about Jesus has given her a profound intuition that he cannot be indifferent to her plea. So she refuses to take no for an answer. She exemplifies with her persistent efforts, refusing to go away until she gets what she came for. She stands out with her hopeful insight, refusing to believe that even a tiny speck of grace isn’t out of reach and knowing just a scrap can make the difference for her. And she demonstrates her trusting acceptance, in her willingness to take Jesus at his word and journey home alone to confirm her daughter’s healing. All that needed is faith.    

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