Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Christ Restoring Health to the Canaanite Woman's Daughter

Matthew 15:21-28

There is apparently some confusion in this icon as it claims to depict the restoration to inner freedom of a Canaanite girl. But the young person on the bed is a young man with short hair and no shirt. An icon painter told me he thought it was a girl, as icons never sensualize the human figure. I'm inclined to think that it is simply an error on the part of the icon studio which painted the image. No matter. While sharing the icon the verses will reflect the gospel account: that it was the woman's daughter who was healed.

That this mother has a wrong theology
doesn't bother or hinder Jesus.
But let us learn Christ's way of divine compassion
and the mother's way of deep believing.

Here is a model of victorious faith,
a double outsider: a Gentile-Woman.
Let us go with Jesus who affirms God's good order,
destroying distance; drawing all to himself.

To the imploring mother, the Lord declared, O woman you have great faith,
as the girl was raised up from the captivity of darkness.
Like dreamers our mouths were filled with laughter
and our tongues with rejoicing! (Psalm 126:1)

This Canaanite woman has left her district
to find the Lord and the desired freedom.
And so Christ awaits me on the other side,
with gifts of healing and delight.

When the Canaanite woman came before Jesus,
she knelt like a Christian, calling him, Lord.
Now undeterred, I approach crying out:
Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David.

When Jesus rather crudely called her people, dogs,
the Gentile woman persisted, asking for healing.
And I will keep this woman as my spiritual friend,
and call out, Lord, despite Christ's seeming reluctance.

Though the woman's daughter was tormented by a demon,
the evangelist called her freedom an instant healing.
Let us emulate this mother, whose prayer is insistent,
and give Jesus the joy of my own great faith.

Surrounded by enemies, Jesus has withdrawn
to the Gentile area of Tyre and Sidon.
Then say among the nations, "The Lord has done great things for us,
and we are glad indeed." (Psalm 126:2,3)

The Lord claimed he'd come for the lost sheep of Israel,
then changed his mind and restored the Gentile's' daughter.
Let us be glad for this post Easter sign:
the future fullness of God's Kingdom - salvation for all!

When Jesus called the Jews the children who eat first,
The woman attested she'd be glad for crumbs.
Let us follow the pattern of this trusting mother,
having faith in Christ who supplies what is needed.

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