Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of August 1, 2010
- Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of August 1, 2010
As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press,
here is a selection from our book of daily devotions,
"Living as the Beloved: One Day at a Time," by the
Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.
Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
meditation. We hope you will be blessed.
Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.
When God seems silent
"Jesus left that place and went away to the district
of Tyre and Sidon. Just then a Canaanite woman from
that region came out and started shouting, 'Have mercy
on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by
a demon.' But he did not answer her at all. And his
disciples came and urged him, saying, 'Send her away,
for she keeps shouting after us.' He answered, 'I was
sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.'
But she came and knelt before him, saying, 'Lord,
help me.' He answered, 'It is not fair to take the
children's food and throw it to the dogs.' She said,
'Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that
fall from their masters' table.' Then Jesus answered
her, 'Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for
you as you wish.' And her daughter was healed
What do we do when God seems silent? Do we stop
praying and give up hope? Or do we turn every stone
and knock on every door until we receive an answer?
All these questions find answers in this story of a
Biography magazine has a simple motto, "Every life
has a story." And this woman has a profound story
about faith, hope, and love. She was not Jewish yet
somehow learned about the Healer, who miraculously
was in her country and vicinity. Her precious
daughter was suffering terribly and nothing could
help her. She would move heaven and earth to have
a hearing with Jesus.
She searched for him and when she found him, began
shouting for mercy. She immediately called him by
the distinguished Jewish title, "Son of David,"
showing some degree of recognition of Jesus as the
Messiah who would heal the people. She urgently
called his name again and again. And God seemed
silent. Jesus refused to answer her. She was
loud and bothersome to the male disciples, who
urged Jesus to send her away. Her noisy cries
for mercy and healing for her daughter bothered
their rest. It was not their daughters who were
The ensuing conversation initially appears harsh
and insensitive as Jesus reminds the woman and his
disciples that he was sent only to the "lost sheep
of Israel." But the woman refuses to take no for
an answer. She drops to her knees and begs for
mercy. Jesus replies that it is not right to take
food from children to give to their dogs.
There are times when popular English translations
fail to convey subtle theological nuances conveyed
through the original Biblical languages and author's
intent. Jesus was not being harsh. I suspect he
had a smile on his lips and a kind twinkle in his
eyes as he used the word the Gospel Greek rendered
as the diminutive word, "kynaria," meaning little
house dogs, pet dogs, and even puppies. In no way
was Jesus being insulting or comparing the
petitioning woman to the despised and troublesome
wild dogs roaming the countryside.
I wonder if the courageous woman smiled with relief
as she persisted with her supplication for mercy in
response to the Healer's humor and kindness. "Yes,
Lord, but even the kynaria eat the crumbs that fall
from their masters' table." She refused to leave
until Jesus offered her a crumb of healing and
mercy. Jesus complimented and blessed this
determined woman. "Woman, you have great faith!
Your request is granted." And her daughter was
How do we pray when God seems silent? This
determined woman teaches us how to pray with
persistent faith and courage. She experienced
divine compassion, healing, and even a moment of
humor with Christ. Her story can be ours. We
can approach Jesus for mercy. We can move heaven
and earth with our prevailing prayers. And when
you see little house dogs and puppies, let them be
a blessed reminder to pray during moments of need.
God, have mercy on us and hear our prayers. Amen.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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