Lord, expand our hearts to become more welcoming to all
5th Week in Ordinary Time (Year A) : Friday 9th February 2024
1 Kgs. 11:29-32; 12:19; Ps. 80:10-11ab,
12-13,14-15; Mk. 7:31-37 (Ps. Wk. I)
Our Gospel reading today finds Jesus in ‘alien,’ that is, Gentile country. It is not clear why Jesus left Jewish territory to visit the city of Tyre that was inhabited by non-Jews of other religious traditions. It is evident that the people there have heard of Jesus and the miracles He performed, one is the daughter of a woman of the city who was healed; another is a deaf man who has difficulty in speaking. Jesus’ saying to the deaf person, “Be opened!”, has great symbolic significance to the people. It is an invitation for them to listen and believe in Him.
What is clear from this encounter is that for Jesus, such differences are not important. What is essential is that an individual have faith in Him and His message. People like Mahatma Gandhi have stood up for some of the values that Jesus taught in ways that surpass the witness of most Christians.
We need to recognise and respect the ways in which the Holy Spirit can also be active in the lives of people we least expect, and draw them to the Lord. Pope Francis has emphasised that the Church must be open to ‘Todos, Todos, Todos!,’ that is, EVERYONE.
Lord, may our hearts expand to become more welcoming to all.