March 8, 2009 - Reminiscere (The Second Sunday in Lent)

Today's Reading: St. Matthew 15:21-28

Daily Lectionary: Genesis 16:1-9, 15-17:22; St. Mark 6:1-13

Then Jesus answered and said to her, ‘O woman, great is your faith! Be it done to you as you want.’ And her daughter was healed from that very hour.” (St. Matthew 15:28)

In the name of Jesus. Amen. “Son of David, have mercy...have mercy on my daughter!” She didn’t even come for herself; it was for her daughter--her poor, demon-possessed daughter.

She was a Canaanite and not of the people of God. She was from the other side of the tracks. She came to Jesus to beg, to plead for the Son of David, the King of Israel to have mercy on her child.

Jesus ignores her! He doesn’t say a word to her. He doesn’t even acknowledge her. It’s so embarrassing that the apostles come to Him to just give her what she wants so she’ll stop wailing.

“I have come only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” I’m not for Canaanites. I’m not for you.

It doesn’t work. She doesn’t leave. She keeps it up. She won’t let Him go. “Lord! Help me!”

“It’s not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” The Jews viewed the Canaanites as dogs. He calls her a dog! He gets racial.

She doesn’t get offended. She doesn’t say, “Oh no, you didn’t.” She doesn’t give Him a piece of her mind. No, she’s shows Him and us how faith always receives from the Lord’s hand.

“Dog, yes. I am what you say I am. But even the dogs, Lord, get the crumbs that fall on the floor from the master’s table.” There’s faith! Faith, which receives from the Lord forgiveness and eternal life. Faith that refuses to believe that God will be anything, but gracious to us.

This is Reminiscere! This is the Lord remembering His tender mercies and His lovingkindness! She holds Him to His promises. She refuses to let Him out of being her Savior, too.

You have sins, terrible things you have done. God knows them all. You think you matter most and others matter least. You demonstrate every day that you choose to be on your own every opportunity you get.

Turn from your sins. Hold fast to Jesus’ promises. He truly rescues you from how you have lived. Hear the Gospel. Remember the water that washed your sins down your forehead in Baptism, the Body and Blood of Christ put into your mouth, giving you forgiveness. And that's way more than crumbs! In the name of Jesus. Amen.