Thursday, February 08, 2007

Thursday's Mass readings

Reading 1 - Gn 2:18-25

The LORD God said: “It is not good for the man to be alone.I will make a suitable partner for him.”So the LORD God formed out of the groundvarious wild animals and various birds of the air,and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them;whatever the man called each of them would be its name.The man gave names to all the cattle,all the birds of the air, and all the wild animals;but none proved to be the suitable partner for the man.So the LORD God cast a deep sleep on the man,and while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribsand closed up its place with flesh.The LORD God then built up into a womanthe rib that he had taken from the man.When he brought her to the man, the man said:“This one, at last, is bone of my bonesand flesh of my flesh;this one shall be called ‘woman,’for out of “her man’ this one has been taken.”That is why a man leaves his father and motherand clings to his wife,and the two of them become one flesh.The man and his wife were both naked, yet they felt no shame.

Responsorial Psalm (Ps 128:1-2, 3, 4-5) - Blessed are those who fear the Lord.

Gospel - Mk 7:24-30

Jesus went to the district of Tyre.He entered a house and wanted no one to know about it,but he could not escape notice.Soon a woman whose daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him.She came and fell at his feet.The woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth,and she begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter.He said to her, “Let the children be fed first.For it is not right to take the food of the childrenand throw it to the dogs.”She replied and said to him,“Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s scraps.”Then he said to her, “For saying this, you may go.The demon has gone out of your daughter.”When the woman went home, she found the child lying in bedand the demon gone.


At 10:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is the presence of a demon the same thing as possession? Does presence of a demon mean the person is a worse sinner than those not plagued by demons?

At 3:35 PM, Blogger ~m2~ said...

Father, I was really confused about the Gospel today -- was Jesus refusing to help her initially because she wasn't a Jew and there was an hierarchal order to things?

However, because of her faith in Who He Was, her daughter was healed?

At 3:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too am totally confused by it. Jesus' words seem like they had nothing to do with the woman's predicament or her request. I'm sure there's an explanation but it leads me to a broader question: Why does the language in the Bible have to be so hard to decipher? Why is it a puzzle? Not to sound flippant, but wouldn't everyone have been better served if they just got to the point?

At 5:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"but wouldn't everyone have been better served if they just got to the point?"

I am glad you asked this question because I too have been confused by the bible especially New Revelations.

At 7:16 PM, Anonymous Marion (Mael Muire) said...

I have heard it explained that Jesus was well aware of His Jewish followers' conviction that salvation was only for them - the Jewish people. The Gentiles - the rest of the world - were not worth bothering with. Jesus, of course, wanted to get His disciples thinking in another way, a way that included Jews as well as Gentiles in God's plan of salvation. The Greek pagan woman knew that, to an observant Jew of Jesus' time, she was just "a dog." And she was prepared for Jesus' initial rebuff. "It is not right to take the food from the children and give it to the dogs," meaning, "it would not be proper for a Jewish rabbi to have anything to do with a pagan - even to heal one of them."

But this woman knew better. She knew that Jesus said these words to test her faith, and to challenge the attitudes of His followers. His followers wanted Jesus to brush this pagan woman aside; but she knew He would not do so.

"Lord," she persisted, "do not even the dogs receive the scraps from the Master's table?"

By which she proved that she, a pagan woman, believed in God the Creator of all men and women, believed that Jesus was sent by God, and believed that Jesus could heal her daughter, and would do so!

This pagan woman had more faith than many in Jesus' own home town of Nazareth, where it was said, He could work few miracles because of their lack of faith.

This woman was a lesson in faith to Jesus' followers, and a lesson to the Apostles that the Good News is not just for the Jews, but for the Gentiles ("dogs"), as well. It was a difficult lesson for the, and even after Jesus' death and Resurrection, the Apostles continued to struggle to come to terms with the idea of salvation for the Gentiles. So it had to be a difficult lesson, but for the Greek woman, a lesson with a joyful ending.

At 6:21 PM, Anonymous Tom said...

Why does the language in the Bible have to be so hard to decipher? Why is it a puzzle?

For one thing, the books of the Bible were written more than nineteen hundred years ago, over the course of centuries, in different languages and out of different cultures, for different purposes and in different literary genres. All of that works against the Bible being as easy to read and understand as a newspaper.

Even more, though, the Bible is a written record of God's revelation of Himself to man, and a means for us to encounter Him personally. These things can't be expressed in words that give their full meaning in one reading.

You read Scripture once, and come to know something about God, but if you keep reading it you come to know God Himself, and the better you know God the more you understand His word.

At 7:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How does demon possession occur?


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