Today’s Gospel Reading: Mark 7:24-30 – Thursday, 8 February 2018
The taboo against association with Gentiles adds greater meaning to today’s Gospel reading. This scene with the Syro-Phoenician woman is extraordinary in several respects. First, she is Gentile. Secondly, she is a woman. Jesus had no hesitation in speaking with her on either count. Thirdly, she asks Jesus for healing at a distance, which He does effortlessly and for the first time in the Gospel of Mark.
Mark is suggesting that Jesus’ power was not reducible to any one of the then prevalent forms of a “magic touch”. Finally, she recognizes the historical distinction in God’s plan between Jew and Gentile which Jesus now transcends. This justified the outreach of the Church at Antioch and Rome to the Gentiles.
Throughout Mark’s Gospel, we see Jesus breaking taboos – against lepers, a woman with a flow of blood, unclean foods and now a Gentile woman.
How persistent are we in our prayers to Jesus?
Jakarta, 8 February 2018
A Christian Pilgrim