Wednesday, February 09, 2011

A Suitable Partner

February 10, 2011
Memorial of Saint Scholastica, virgin

The LORD God said: "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him." Genesis 2:18

Happy are all who fear the LORD, who walk in the ways of God.
What your hands provide you will enjoy; you will be happy and prosper:
Like a fruitful vine your wife within your home, Like olive plants your children around your table.
Just so will they be blessed who fear the LORD.
Psalm 128:1b-4

He said to her, "Let the children be fed first. For it is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs." She replied and said to him, "Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children's scraps." Mark 7:27-28

Compassionate God of love,
You give us models of strength and courage.
As Saint Scholastica trusted
that her prayer would be heard,
give us insight to ask for help
in difficult situations.
May we help to foster the Benedictine values
of hospitality, stewardship, respect and justice.
This we ask through Jesus, the Christ,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit
forever and ever. Amen.

“Happy are all who fear the Lord.”

“Happy are ALL who fear the Lord.”

Note: the Psalmist does not say “Happy are the Jews who fear the Lord.” Nor does it say “Happy are the Americans who fear the Lord.” Nor does it say “Happy are the Europeans who fear the Lord.” All who have faith in the Lord are welcome at His table.

“Happy are ALL who fear the Lord.”

Jesus has moved his ministry into the district of Tyre. This is Gentile country where the confrontation arises between Jesus and the woman whose daughter is possessed by evil spirits. In the exchange, the “children” at table refers to the Jews who have the first claim on the faith of Jesus.

However, when it appears that Jesus will turn his back on the pleas of the mother, she will not give up trying to save her daughter. The woman reminds Jesus that when the children are fed, then even the dogs under the table get the scraps from their plates. The Gentiles are the dogs under the table.
When Jesus realizes that this woman has approached based upon her faith in Him, he acts on her prayer to save her daughter.

Jews and Gentiles, Romans and Samaritan, native and foreigner all share in the benefits of Jesus’ ministry when they have faith, express it and act upon it. All who turn to Jesus in faith can access his healing.

Everyone has the potential to be touched by the ministry of Jesus. Beyond that, none of us have to face the world alone. In both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, companionship on the journey is a common theme. Even in the story of Genesis, the Lord acknowledges that man should not face the world alone but must have a suitable partner.

To whom can you provide companionship on the journey? As the community prepares for both a men’s and women’s weekend this spring, you can provide that companionship to the teams in formation and to potential candidates.

How else might you extend your Christian action to build up the Body of Christ in the world and bring to reality the Kingdom of God on earth?