Breaking Down Barriers to Healing

– Thursday 5th Week in Ordinary Time –

“A woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet.”  [Mark 7:25]

This is probably one of the most confronting stories in the Gospels.  It follows on the heels of a passage where Jesus is confronted by the Pharisees, whose concern with the outward appearance of cleanliness surpassed their concern for the state of a person’s heart.  Even Jesus’ disciples failed to understand the parable Jesus told to address this.  Immediately after, Jesus goes to a Gentile region and his challenge of the status quo continues. 

Here a Gentile woman, a mother desperate to find healing for her daughter, comes and falls at Jesus’ feet.  His reply is hard to stomach, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.”  (Mark 7:27) Why would Jesus say something like this? I believe that once again he was making a point to the disciples and the strength of his language makes the healing of her daughter all the more poignant.  This is how the Jews saw the Gentiles and Jesus is breaking down the barriers and challenging deeply held prejudices.

What are the barriers that stop us from reaching out to others?  Who are the people suffering and crying out for healing for their children in our culture?  How would Jesus challenge the attitudes we have to our indigenous brothers and sisters, to the refugees seeking asylum in our country, to the unborn and unwelcomed?

Jesus, open our hearts to see as you see, and may we be moved to action so that we too are challenging the status quo and bringing healing to the hearts of those in need.


by Christine Da Costa

get the daily reflections sent directly to your email

Thank you, we'll be in touch soon

You can close this page now, or if you would like to learn more about us, check out our website.