We certainly can experience the gospel within our lives and our daily activity. The mother pleading and begging on behalf of her daughter and not being put off by Jesus' roughness or by being told she was not included in Jesus' mission. She expanded Jesus' understanding of who he was sent to preach to and to include in his mission. He had to take this in and grapple with it. In the story both she and Jesus are outsiders. Jesus was not being accepted by the Israelites and so he was in pagan territory.
The man who was deaf and mute is brought to Jesus by a crowd and pleaded for his healing. Jesus took him aside and very human things putting spit on his tongue and touching his ears. Jesus did not do the healing for recognition. He allowed the man and his family because of the healing to be participants in the life of the community. Illness and physical impairment put one’s family and oneself outside of the community.
The image that both of these Gospels stories bring to me today are the refugees that we see every night on our national and local news. Parents bring their children in boats, on trains, spending days and weeks and maybe years in refugee camps. They are pleading to the world for their children and themselves that they may have life. The invitation of the second healing story is for us, the rest of the world. Will our eyes be open to see and our ears to hear the plight and pain of people without a country. Will our mouths speak on their behalf?
This community is one that is very attuned to people in need of a compassionate presence and response. Each of us is challenged today to discern what is that call is in our life. For some here that compassionate holding in Contemplation the sick suffering and refugees will be what is asked for. Exodus, a group in the city that works with resettling refugees, can always use volunteers. Some here may be looking for an outreach. Praying the news, as was taught to us by our Carmelite sisters, is another response. Living deeply in the present moment and attending to those who are with us in that moment is incredibly challenging and does open us to new insights and ways of being. It informs us of what we must be about.
The readings call us again. As we wake up each morning we can ask the question, "What is being asked of me today?" May our ears be open to hear what is mine to do.
Nancy Meyer, RCWP