Thursday 11 February 2021

The crumbs of Love


Jesus left Gennesaret and set out for the territory of Tyre. There he went into a house and did not want anyone to know he was there, but he could not pass unrecognised. A woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him straightaway and came and fell at his feet. Now the woman was a pagan, by birth a Syrophoenician, and she begged him to cast the devil out of her daughter. And he said to her, ‘The children should be fed first, because it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the house-dogs.’ But she spoke up: ‘Ah yes, sir,’ she replied ‘but the house-dogs under the table can eat the children’s scraps.’ And he said to her, ‘For saying this, you may go home happy: the devil has gone out of your daughter.’ So she went off to her home and found the child lying on the bed and the devil gone.’

Mark 7::24-30


In a book that tells the story of a mother whose child has suffered a devastating brain injury, Nia Wyn, writes this: ‘As we pass the running children who hold up their heads so easily, I realise miracles are so common place we barely recognise them anymore, and near the circles of mothers anxiously comparing milestones at the school gates, I see how we live in a time where normal is never enough, and we are never full.’  (Blue Sky July, 2007). The woman in the gospel reading is deeply concerned about her sick daughter. She comes to Jesus for help, for healing. Falling at his feet, she begs. There is a strange exchange between her and Jesus, but perhaps he is just testing her appetite. She is happy with scraps that fall from the table. She needs a miracle, she wants what is normal – for her child to be well again. She doesn’t seek to be filled with a gluttony of gifts, doesn’t demand more than she needs. This is enough for Jesus. He recognises, acknowledges, sympathises with her simple need. “For saying this,” said Jesus, “you may go home happy.” “I realise miracles are so common place,” said Nia Wyn, “we barely recognise them anymore.” Today, may we seek the small scraps of beauty, the crumbs of love, the specks of grace which fall from the table of the Lord.


God our Father, help us to recognise the beauty of the world around us, and the love that you have placed deep in our hearts, that we may discover true happiness which is life with you and for you. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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