[Jesus went up to pagan territory with his disciples. He wanted no
one to recognize him, but he could not escape notice. A woman
begged him to cure her daughter . . . and he told her,] “It is not
right to take the food of children and throw it to the dogs.” She
replied, “Please, Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the family’s leavings.” Jesus said, “For such a reply, your faith has saved
you … your request has been answered.” Mark 7:24-30
Centuries ago, a woman’s patience in the face of adversity allowed the God of all consolations to comfort her. She was a pagan—someone not yet within the reach of Advent. But her daughter was sick, so she cried out loud for help. The apostles were angered by her presence. They didn’t want to be noticed. They were looking forward to a few days of rest. Even Jesus seemed to deny her. She did not bristle at this. She did not leave in a huff or scold the apostles for scolding her. She did not return Christ’s seemingly ethnic slur with one of her own. She patiently pleaded her cause (with humor) and waited for God’s goodness to react to her prayer. Which it did.
THE PALESTINIAN WOMAN SPEAKS TO YOU
“Blessed are you, and you always will be, if you hold off your anger before it leaps to expression. I was tempted to give Jesus a piece of my mind for the way he seemed to shun me. But something made me stop from venting my righteous indignation. Faith saw that Jesus did want to love me and cure my daughter. I’m very happy that I didn’t react with bitterness. God’s plan of love got to me in its own good time. My story can be yours, if you are patient.”
Jesus, my Lord, prevent me from becoming so sensitive to rejection. Let me be willing to wait out your sometimes terribly slow pace. When I am patient with you, maybe I can develop more patience with others this December. And then more patience with myself. And wouldn’t that be wonderful! Amen.