Our Lady of Lourdes
5th Week in Ordinary Time (B) : Thursday 11th February 2021
Gen. 2:18-25; Ps 127:1-2,3,4-5;
Mk 7:24-30 (Ps Wk I)
The first reading contains the story of the creation of woman, or rather the motive given by God for creating woman, that is, “It is not good that man should be alone.” As a man’s helper, a woman is intended to be the one, in whom, he finds his support and strength since animals do not prove to be a suitable “helper”. God creates woman from the man’s ribs, and when the woman is introduced to the man, he is overjoyed because he is no longer alone. From the start, there is a special and equal relationship between man and woman.
When the Syro-Phoenician woman approached Jesus to heal her possessed daughter, she cries out to him and falls at his feet. In other words, she crouched at the feet of this male Jewish preacher. What may have surprised the first-century readers of Mark’s Gospel is not Jesus’ harsh-sounding refusal to give to Gentiles what rightfully belonged to the Jews, but that Jesus allowed a Gentile woman to persist in her pleading and even to touch him. Jesus did not rebuke her for this. Instead, because of her persistence and sincerity, Jesus cures her daughter.
Today, we also celebrate the World Day of the Sick. Although it is specially dedicated to physically and emotionally sick people, we also remember the “sickness” that persists in many places where women are seen as unequal to men or discriminated against.
Lord, help us to work towards a world where women are treated equally in all aspects of life.