Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are presented with the readings which tell us about the relationship we have with one another, from the Book of Genesis which is our first reading that tells us about the creation of man and woman, and how woman was made as a companion to man, to help him and that she can also be helped by man. It is therefore a mutualistic relationship, where man complement woman and vice versa.
And that is why we have marriage and the institution of the holy matrimony and the holy institution of the family. That is because the union between man and woman had been decreed and ordained by God since the beginning of time, when He first created man and woman to complete each other and make each other perfect in the sight of God. And He had also given this world to our care, and blessed us all to bear children and spread all around the world.
The union of man and woman had been blessed by God, and indeed God had said that what God had made one, no man shall divide and separate. And from that blessed union, the gift of children came, and many young ones were born, to continue the legacy of mankind, as the new generation of humanity to walk in this world. However, unfortunately, sin entered into the hearts of men, and we became defiled by its darkness.
The people of God had been disobedient, and repeatedly they had abandoned the Lord their God to worship the horrible idols of the world, and allowed themselves to be corrupted by sin. They disregarded the commandments of the Lord and allowed their lives to be filled with the wickedness of sin and evil. But God did not give up on them, just as much as He hated their sins and evils, so much so and even more so that He loved them all and desired their salvation.
That was why He gave Jesus, His own Son, who became Man and incarnate in flesh, to walk as one of us and dwell in this world. He came into the world to reveal the truth to a people who have long walked in the darkness of the world, and bring them into the fullness of God’s love, mercy and salvation. But yet, His own people rejected Him, because they were so full of themselves, so immersed in their pride, and so reluctant to let go of the possessions and things of the world which they had accumulated in their earthly life.
This is where this attitude is contrasted with the attitude of the faithful Syro-Phoenician woman, whose daughter was afflicted and possessed by an evil spirit. She had great faith in Jesus, and knowing and accepting who Jesus was, she poured out her heart to Him, and in great humility, she beseeched Him to help her daughter. She did not even mind being insulted by what Jesus apparently said to her when she asked Him for help.
What Jesus said to the woman was in fact the prejudice and bias which the people of Israel often had of those around them who did not belong to the race of the Jewish people. They have always taken pride of the fact that they were the chosen people, and as the recipients of God’s planned salvation, they took great pride and thought lowly of those who did not belong to their race.
Thus, it is truly a surprising fact and occurrence when the Syro-Phoenician woman, considered to be among the Gentiles, or the non-Jewish people, had so great a faith for the Lord, when the very chosen people of God had refused to believe in Him and hardened their hearts against Him. And for her faith, she was rewarded and her daughter was cured from her afflictions.
Jesus did not intend to demean or insult her at all, but instead, He was rebuking the Jews and the people of God, who was so haughty and proud to the point that they lost their focus in the Lord, and thus they were unable to recognise Him in Jesus. He wanted to chastise His prodigal people, the unfaithful people, that they would be awakened from their long and deep slumber, and follow what the Syro-Phoenician woman had done, that is to be truly and genuinely faithful to the Lord.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, therefore, today, let us all follow the Lord with all of our hearts and with our entire being focused completely at Him. Let us also be faithful to Him and follow all of His ways and teachings. In this era, we know that the institution of marriage and holy matrimony, as well as the family itself are under great threat. Let us be brave and courageous defenders of marriage, the sanctity of the union between man and woman as ordained by God.
May all of us strive to be holy and pure just as our Lord is. Let us all shun all forms of sin and become righteous as we were all intended to be. Reject Satan and all of his lies, and reject all forms of worldliness. May Almighty God be with us all and bless us all. Amen.