Sunday, August 17, 2014

One phrase

Growing up a baptist in Danville, as a child I was pretty sure the Bible in King James English was THE BIBLE, later I ran into Catholics who seemed to at least talk as if Latin were God's native language. We forget that for Christians it is Greek that is our religious mother tongue, the language of the New Testament.

Even when the language of our worship moved from Greek to Latin one phrase remain in the original language

Kyrie, eleison. (Lord, have mercy)

Even now it remains in Greek as a part of the penitential rite.

It is what the Canaanite woman in the gospel says when she calls out to Jesus.

The disciples find her annoying, telling Jesus

Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us

They are wrong of course. She is not calling out after them; she is calling to HIM.

And she is wrong in thinking that his silence is not a response.

St. Matthew does not say Jesus did not respond to her request. It says,

Jesus did not say a word in answer to her.

How often are we this woman? We pray and we don't hear back from God. God doesn't seem to say a word. There is nothing but deafening silence. And in our ignorance, we think God is not responding.

If we are people of faith. If we understand the depth of God's love for us the we should know. That we don't need to"babble on as the pagans do..." (Mt. 6:7)

The Canaanite woman spoke three words to Jesus and he said nothing in response. Instead he filled her heart the gift of faith, and healed her daughter.

Can we have the faith to repeat the words, "Lord,Have mercy" and trust that it is enough? Can we leave the rest to Jesus, and rest in the silence.