One of the constants in the life and mission of Jesus was that of ‘crossing over’ – that is, going out to another place, reaching out to another person, or adopting a different point of view. We often see Jesus ‘crossing over’ not only geographically, but socially and theologically too. Here again in today’s readings, we see Jesus giving us yet another example of this dynamic feature of his ministry. We see him going over to the ‘other side’ and embracing a woman who is a Canaanite, a stranger or representative of ‘the others’ – and yet we see Jesus shift in his perspective and opinion to embrace the need of the woman (for a cure for her daughter).
This image might immediately call for our attention and offer us both an entry point for some personal review, and a possible future application for our own ministry as we too seek to accompany the Lord.
How are we also called to ‘cross over’ to the other side – to adopt new perspectives to open our thoughts and responses to embrace new perspectives and to be with those whom we may not first see as needing our care?
Further, what is also emphasised today is the reality that without the guidance of Jesus we too can be tempted to ‘send’ problems away rather than seeking the truth of a situation.
Jesus is our security, our centre, our support; and without his presence in our lives and work we will not succeed.
Fr. Denis Travers, C.P., is a member of Holy Spirit Province, Australia.