FIRST READING
The Lord God brought her to Adam, and they became one flesh.
A reading from the Book of Genesis (Genesis 2:18-25)

The Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” So out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its  name. The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper fit for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh; and the rib which the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed.

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 128: 1-2.3.4-5 (R. see 1a)
R/. Blessed are all who fear the Lord.

Blessed are all who fear the Lord,
and walk in his ways!
By the labour of your hands you shall eat.
You will be blessed and prosper. R.

Your wife like a fruitful vine
in the heart of your house;
your children like shoots of the olive
around your table. R.

Indeed thus shall be blessed
the man who fears the Lord.
May the Lord bless you from Sion.
May you see Jerusalem prosper
all the days of your life! R.

ALLELUIA
Alleluia. Receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. Alleluia.

GOSPEL
“The dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs. ”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (Mark 7:24-30)

At that time: Jesus arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And he entered a house, and would not have any one know it; yet he could not be hidden. But immediately a woman, whose little daughter was possessed by an unclean spirit, heard of him,’ and came and fell down at his feet. Now the woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. And he said to her, “Let the children first be fed, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” But she answered him, “Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” And he said to her, “For this saying you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter.” And she went home, and found the child lying in bed, and the demon gone.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection
Jesus leaves the borders of Israel and enters the regions of Tyre and Sidon. (Presently these two cities are in Lebanon.) There Jesus encountered a woman identified in the scriptures as the Syrophoenician. In other words, the woman is of Syrian and Phoenician ancestry. The bottom-line is that the woman was not a Jewish woman; she was a foreigner. She must have heard of Jesus for her to run to him for assistance. Despite Jesus’ negative remark on her request, she did not give up, rather she accepted her status but persevered in her request. This show of humility and faith amazed Jesus such that he instantly granted her request. She went home in faith to find her demoniac daughter sober and delivered. The encounter with the Syrophoenician woman tells us that Jesus has no boundaries. Introduces him to all and sundry irrespective of creed.

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