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Thursday 5th Week of the Year

Today’ Mass Readings

Thursday 5th Week of the Year

Matthew 7:24-30

Loyalty or commitment to the person of Jesus has great payoffs.

We can learn a lot from this Canaanite woman.

For centuries her people had been the joke of all Israel.

Her need for healing for her daughter is so great
that she doesn’t care about the past
and what people think of her.


She gives great honor to Jesus
and calls him “The Son of David.”

She does this in the hope
that Jesus will be as generous as King David
and grant her desire for healing.

She even pleads, “Have mercy on me.”


In the cultural world that Jesus lived,
when someone asked for mercy
they were saying,
”You have a responsibility, Jesus, to pay this
debt that I owe to God because you
have the means do it.”

According to that culture, Jesus must respond with mercy
by acknowledging her and giving her what is hers,
the healing of her daughter.


Now this was known as the honor game
which could only be played by equals
and she was not equal to Jesus in that society.

And Jesus knows he must heal her daughter to keep his honor.

She’s very witty.


When Jesus calls her a dog,
that is, a loose woman.

We may take that as an insult.

In fact, Jesus is acknowledging her social status.

Playing this honor game,
she responds that even dogs under the table
eat the children scraps.


Her faith in Jesus is understood as loyalty
or a “commitment to a person,”
no matter what.

Her daughter is cured because of such loyalty
by just a word from Jesus.

What do we need that only Jesus can do?


Let’s not approach him
hoping he will hear us and answer prayers.

Let us feel the need deep in our hearts
and communicate that to him beyond words.

Let us trust that he will do this
because of our loyalty to him,
our commitment to him and that he may keep his honor with us.

Rick Pilger

Father Pilger, I.C. was born in Canton, Illinois and was ordained at St. John’s Seminary, Wonersh, England in December 1978. He joined the Blessed Sacrament Parish in August 1995, coming here from Sacred Heart Parish in Bradenton Florida. After 22 years as Parochial Vicar, he was appointed Pastor by Bishop Gregory Parkes in June 20, 2017.

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