Daily, we are bombarded with the news of the treatment of the refugees and immigrants at our border and at the borders of Europe. Mercy and compassion seem to be in small supply in this “land of the free and the brave”. Instead, vilification and huge restrictions are put in place. People are put through so many hoops that they despair they will ever see freedom again.
In today’s gospel, much like many Americans, and far too many who have the power, Jesus’ disciples view the Canaanite woman as a nuisance, as bothersome, as a pain-in-the neck. “Send her away!” they say to Jesus. “Get rid of her!” But she persists in her entreaties, begging Jesus to heal her daughter. Jesus, seeing her incredible faith, grants her wish, despite the fact that Canaanites were bitter enemies of the Jews. Jesus honors her dignity as a human being and rewards her persistence.
Jesus, once again, demonstrates how we are to treat people with compassion and with the dignity they deserve. All of us, every person who exists and has ever existed are created in God’s image. Jesus encourages us to “love one another, as I have loved you”. How then can we allow our government officials (who are elected to represent us) to treat people any less? Our voices need to be heard! Our leaders must be reminded that the dignity of the human person triumphs over any law, any regulation, any bias, any personal belief! No human being is unlawful in the eyes of God.
“Be compassionate as Jesus is compassionate!”
Deacon Lee Packard