Thursday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
The mother is at the heart of the family, and the family is at the heart of any civilization. The mother’s heart – where she is with God – will determine the health of the family, and so, in the end, the health of the civilization. King Solomon lost his kingdom because of the foreign women he brought into his life, the many wives from foreign countries who brought their gods with them, and turned his heart – and the heart of his people – away from the God of Israel.
Jesus encounters a foreign woman, a non-Jew, one of the “Gentile dogs.” His tradition was very cautious of such, to put it mildly, and His mission was to Israel above all: and to the purity of the cult of Israel. Such a woman could not possibly belong.
And yet, she won His heart because of her love for her daughter. In Jesus, the God of Israel fully reveals Himself as pure love, and His pure, divine love looks for resonances in human hearts wherever they are found. His love purifies that which is impure in others: in Christ, the “Gentile dogs” become children if they are open to that love which is willing to sacrifice all. Even as the Greek woman sacrificed her pride for love of her daughter, and was rewarded with the health and sanity that only the Spirit of God can give.