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Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle A

Reflecting on Matthew 15:21-28

She’s a Mama Bear, this woman.  She doesn’t know a thing about Moses or the prophets. But she does know that her daughter is tormented by a demon, and that Jesus has the ability to heal her. Do you think hell or heaven is going to stand in her way? Would they stand in your way, if your daughter was desperately ill and Jesus was passing by? I didn’t think so.

The funny thing, though, is that Jesus is a Mama Bear too. As ferociously as she loves her daughter, Jesus loves her more. Do you think hell or heaven is going to stop him from curing her? Not in a million years.

Sometimes, though, he uses a situation to teach the onlookers―say, for example, those disciples who are urging him to get rid of this tiresome mother―a thing or two about faith.  It’s so amazing that his closest friends, those who have been with him through so much, still don’t get that his power and grace are for EVERYONE who believes. Somehow, after all this time, they still want salvation to be just about the Jews.

So Jesus grabs this teaching moment and allows this faith-filled woman, this outsider, to take center stage and engage him in a dialog whose true target is not him at all, but the disciples. He knows a thing about a mother’s love. Look who his mother is! He allows her to “teach” him―and those who are listening in― about God’s merciful love to ALL people.

I love imagining the godstruck disciples. But mostly I love imagining the mother and Jesus, and the bear hug they must have shared as the demon left her daughter.

In what ways have you been a “mama bear” in praying to Jesus for your loved ones?

 

Kathy McGovern ©2017

Kathy McGovern © 2014-2015

Ordinary Time - Cycle A

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