Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


Our Grateful Response

In tomorrow's Gospel reading Jesus casts a demon out of the daughter of a Syrophoenician woman and then heals a deaf/mute beinging hearing and speech. Both of these persons were outcasts within Israeli society. John Kavanaugh, S. J. of Saint Louis University writes about this passage,
There is no doubt he accepted and loved rich and healthy people, especially those who knew their own wounds and poverty. But he always had time for the marginal and the dispossessed, the maimed and the broken. If we were to measure the amount of space in the Gospels devoted to the hurt or poor and compare it to any other pet issue we cherish as the “litmus test” of our faith, there is little doubt that the sick and needy are more important than any other reality.

Witness Jesus in the Gospel of Mark. He attends to the deaf man, a passive mumbler. He draws close. He touches him and prays. And his power shines forth. If we say that we are disciples of Jesus, if we hold that he is not only our savior but our way as well, then his manner of concern must in some way be our own.

Our attentiveness and care for each other and especially for the poor is not a tactic to win us paradise. It is rather our grateful response to God’s promised love for us in our own poverty and disability.

Perhaps this is why it may well be the old bag lady in the back, so marginal to the world, or the quiet penitent near the door, reluctant to approach the altar, who brings a greater gift of prayer than any of us laden with talent or largess.
The full text of the reflection is online here: The Word Encountered.



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