Monday, March 9, 2015

Daily Devotion for Lent 2015, Day 17

Daily Devotion for Lent

Monday, March 9, 2015, Day 17

Mark 7:24-30 (NRSV)

Even dogs illicit sympathy - although more so in
our culture than in Jesus' day.

Sometimes people get compassion fatigue.  It is not discussed a lot but when you are in the helping profession, there are times when the people with problems seem so relentless that you want to throw up your hands and say, "I can't do it, anymore!"

Basically, people need to take breaks.

Jesus recognized this about himself.  Mark even tells us that he didn't want anyone to know he was there.  He needed to rest.

Then a Gentile woman comes to him, asking for healing for her daughter.

Jesus indicates that she's unimportant in the grand scheme of things.

This isn't easy to see as we can imagine the woman's distress.

It is possible that this passage is showing the "fully human" side of Jesus more than we're really comfortable with.

But it also shows his divinity as well.

Maybe we mirror God when we can check our pride at the door and let others sway us toward compassion.

Maybe this shows us that if Jesus is willing to learn from a "dog", we should likewise see people for more than the superficial.

This begs the question, "Who have you dismissed or written off prematurely?"

Who might surprise you, given the chance?

Prayer for the day:

Good and gracious God, you invite us to recognize and reverence your divine image and likeness in our neighbor.  Enable us to see the reality of racism and free us to challenge and uproot it from our society, our world and ourselves.

This we pray.  Amen.

Prayer by the Sisters of Mercy,

Photo by By Tim Dawson (Flickr: Sad Lucy) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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