Wednesday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time

To share the Eucharistic bread

Then Jesus went from that place and withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman …called out, “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon.” But he did not say a word in answer to her. His disciples came and asked him, “Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.” He said in reply, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But the woman came and did him homage, saying, “Lord, help me.” He said in reply, “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.” Then Jesus said to her in reply, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed from that hour. Mt 15,21-28

We have met this Syro Phoenician woman, a Cananean, some days ago, and today the liturgy presents her to us again. This means that she has something to communicate to us. Every morning we attend the mass, celebrated in the Saronno sanctuary, and we meet at the exit a north African man on the door, surely a Muslim, who begs for alms. Some time we give him something, but every day he makes us pondering: his attendance is a disquieting one. He asks some money for the daily bread, but our duty would be to help him to share also the Eucharistic bread of the divine mercy, which we have previously received. However we never did it. There is, in fact, a first voice inside us which keeps us out: “This is the bread of the Christians which, referred to today passage, corresponds to the bread for the lost sheep of the house of Israel”. Immediately after, however, we hear a second voice: “This is true, for  even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters”. 

The Muslim will never address to us this request, because he does not feel the need of the Eucharistic bread; he is thereby only to search for the daily bread. We, however, who have been invited to witness our faith, should see in that man who stretches the hand to us a person searching for the truth, a Cananean who silently says to us: “For  even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters”.  It is a speech not easy to be done and, if some day the Spirit will push us to do it, we would have to expect every type of answer, but this is what the today gospel calls for. Otherwise, what to evangelize would mean?

Let’s pray the Lord to the purpose that he sends to us the same Spirit which he sent to Peter when, entering in the Beautiful Door, said to the cripple: “I have neither silver nor gold, but what I do have I give you: in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, rise and walk”. (Acts 3,6) That “raise! means for us “in the faith” in search of the fullness of the revelation, which is hidden in Christ Jesus.

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