Feb 14 (Mk 7:24-30)

A highly contagious virus has affected human life, down through many centuries – societies, communities and families.

This contagion is not some strand of flu that affects the body

This contagion is not even a digital malware spreading from computer to computer.

This contagion is the virus named “blaming”.

This virus – “blaming” – is perhaps the easiest culprit for many of the problems that we face in our lives.

Whenever our plans fail… we “blame” other people.

Whenever things don’t go the way it is expected… we “blame” our luck or the stars

Whenever we face personal problems and crisis…we “blame” our situations and surroundings

Often our problems find a scapegoat in this virus named “blaming”

Often our defeats find a cause in this contagion named “blaming”

But the Gospel of the day presents an amazing personality who overcomes and overpowers this virus of “blaming” and wins for herself the favour of the Lord.

The Gospel passage is the incident of Jesus’ encounter with a Gentile woman who comes seeking for a cure for her daughter, from a demon.

“…a woman whose daughter had an unclean spirit, heard about Jesus. She came and fell at His feet” (Mk 7:25)

This person who came to Jesus went through a string of ignominies and exploitations…

• She had to face humiliations because she was a woman…

The Jewish society accorded a lowly and highly subjugated status to women

• She had to face disgraces because she was a Greek…

The Greeks, who were considered pagans by the Jews, were treated with inferiority.

• She had to face dishonour because she was a Syrophoenician…

A Syrophoenician denoted a mixed race – half Syrians and half Phoenician; thus denoting also a crisis in cultural and linguistic identity.

• She had to face scandal because she had to approach Jesus who was a pure Jew…

Greeks and especially Greek woman had no interaction at all with Jewish men

• She had to face crisis because her child was possessed with an unclean spirit…

A demon-possession in her beloved daughter would have chased away all her peace of mind.

• She had to face challenge to her faith when the Lord addressed to her in an apparently disrespectful manner…

Being called as a “dog” would have put off the mind of a weak and frail person

Well.. this Syrophoenician Greek woman, had many things to complain in life…

She had a number of reasons to “blame” and get defeated in life…

Ø She could have just “blamed” the society for their inhuman attitudes…

Ø She could have just “blamed” the citizens for their class divisions…

Ø She could have just “blamed” the civilization for their cruel outlooks…

Ø She could have just “blamed” her stars and fate for what happened to her daughter…

Ø She could have just “blamed” Jesus for His challenging and apparently resistant answer…

She could have just kept “blaming” anybody and anything….and get bogged down totally!

But this woman decides to overpower and overcome this “virus” of blaming.

She decides to close her eyes to all humiliations and yet stand strong with a bold face!

She decides to overlook all setbacks and defy the odds with her deep convictions and trust!

As a result, the Lord rewards her immensely and her daughter was delivered of the demon!

Are we people who get easily afflicted by the contagion of “blaming”?

Are we people who are easily paralysed by the virus of “blaming”?

The Syrophoenician woman, by her tremendous faith and bold trust is a challenge to us.

The Syrophoenician woman, by her amazing determination and resolve is an inspiration for us.

Our society, our families, our own individual selves are often under the grip and possession of this contagion of “blaming”.

Let us approach the Lord for a deliverance…

Let us approach the Lord for a liberation…

February 14 is popularly celebrated as Valentine’s Day.

Jesus, the True Lover illustrates the real meaning of love…

… by inviting us to move from our blame-game attitude to taking responsibility in life

… by laying down His Life for us and showing us the value of being optimistic in life

Jesus, our True Lover… invites and challenges us to grow in this area of our life!

Yes, the Lord…holds our hands, and in deep love and affection asks us:

“Will you be My valentine forever?”

Let’s not blush….let’s not be shy…

>> Instead in deep faith and true commitment, pledge forever, our love to the Lover of all Hearts!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “ It is a fact that people are always well aware of what is due to them.

>> Unfortunately, they remain oblivious of what they owe to others!”

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