Numbers 13:1-2, 25-14:1, 26a-29a, 34-35
Matthew 15: 21-28
Has it ever struck you that when Jesus heals people, the environment / the culture surrounding the miraculous transformation of the people does not change one bit? Persons are usually sent back to the ordinary settings as they knew them. As transformational as these healings are they are within the real world of good and evil.
The mom’s "wish" for her daughter came to pass. And the "great faith" on the part of the mom, acknowledged by Our Lord, would have to continue to face into the evil of cultural, religious and gender discrimination. Was that not what Jesus was seeking to probe with this woman, her capability (beyond human power) to face into the challenges of discrimination? Was not Jesus Himself being threatened constantly on his road to the Passion by this same evil discrimination? It would be his faith, too, in the faithfulness of the Father that would ultimately fulfill the "wish" of redemption…through His suffering love. Would not Jesus want this woman to understand the implications of healing with the ever-present consciousness of the discriminatory barriers which she would continue to face?
Jesus graces us with the wisdom necessary to choose to live a value, and take the risk to change the world. I may not imitate the actual sufferings of Christ but I can embrace the risk- taking of Jesus to change the world. Is there any area of my life where Jesus calls me to risk for the sake of those suffering discrimination? Jesus saves us not only from sin, but from our complacency, as well.
Fr. Alex Steinmiller, C.P. is president of Holy Family Cristo Rey High School, Birmingham, Alabama.