Thursday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
The faith drives out the demons
From that place he went off to the district of Tyre. He entered a house and wanted no one to know about it, but he could not escape notice. Soon a woman whose daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him. She came and fell at his feet. The woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth, and she begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter. He said to her, “Let the children be fed first. 9 For it is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” She replied and said to him, “Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s scraps.” Then he said to her, “For saying this, you may go. The demon has gone out of your daughter.” When the woman went home, she found the child lying in bed and the demon gone. Mk 7,24-30
At the end of the today passage Jesus tells to this syro-phenician woman: “For saying this, you may go. The demon has gone out of your daughter”. This is the only exorcism of the gospel which takes place not because of the power of Jesus, but due to the faith of this pagan woman. It is a fact on which it has to be meditated in depth: what type of faith is that of the syro-phenician, which has the power to drive out the demons from the people and from the situations, without being directly commanded by Jesus or by a disciple who operates in his name? It is the faith of the bread. In no passage of the gospel is as clear as in that of today that the real faith, that one which moves the mountains, would be actualized in the “practice of the bread”. In a world like ours, or as in the Jesus time, dominated by the individualism and by the hedonism, the faith which makes itself bread and which fills the brother in need of the same bread, material and spiritual, has a power of liberation from the evil of divine nature. The brotherly love and the word ‘bread’ released into the society, have already made the victory over the evil: it is in the sharing of the “bread of the sons” that we become brothers and the Father becomes the father of all. We have a lot of this bread, both as a material food and as the word of God to be shared, but we are not able to offer it generously to the people we meet during the day. In the evening, twelve baskets are always left and we throw it away, or we leave it there and it becomes hard. The bread must be shared each day to eat it fresh. The Lord delivered this bread by the morning, in the plate and in the prayer. Give us, Lord, the spirit of sharing the material bread and your word.