“Have mercy on me.”
In Matthew 15: 21 is a story about Jesus needing a little time away, to rest – to go somewhere that he could renew his energies. So he goes where no one will recognize him, to a little place called Tyre and Sidon, when a Canaanite woman came over to him and shouted, “Have mercy on me, Lord, my daughter is tormented by a demon.”
At first he ignores her, and his disciples came and urged him to “send her away for she keeps shouting after us” He justifies his seeming indifference by saying “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.”
Perhaps he thought he had only so much energy or he needed to use it wisely and give it only to those of “his own kind, or those in his own house of faith. We don’t know what went through his mind – yet nevertheless she persevered and persisted, giving him logical reasons that “even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”
Wow, what quite strength that Canaanite woman had, what love she had for her daughter that she did not “fly off the handle” with insults and accusations of hypocrisy.
What happens when we create a spaciousness? When we are centered and come from a sense of Love, we are able to let go of defending our ideological differences and we become open to something more than we are, we become open to Spiritual epiphanies.
This woman was not out to win an argument with Jesus, she was out to win his mercy and love for her daughter and that prevailed in her mind. Jesus easily won theological arguments with Pharisees and other authorities but you cannot prevail against love.
In that moment of continuous love, brought by that woman, I believe Jesus experienced a mind expansion. He realized this message was for more than the children of Israel, his message was Universal and for all Beings.
My brother in law, Fr Robert Cary, shared a message on this scripture with a few in our family and I thought I would like to share his thoughts on this verse.
“What we might learn from this gospel:
1. Persistence. Don’t give up after just one prayer. Be persistent, Always hope.
2. This message is important to us as our country is racked with divisive language and action. The Canaanite woman stood up to discrimination and hurtful language. Jesus in his human nature was limited in his understanding of the scope of his mission, following the fears and prejudices of his people. Yet Jesus was ready to change, to let his heart be opened, to see goodness and faith in every person.”
It takes inner work for us to expand our consciousness. We must pray, meditate, be curious to inquire if the thoughts we are holding are absolutely true. And if they bring hurt and discrimination to others, we’ve got to know they are of the Ego.
Can we have the courage and the steadfast love to check in with ourselves, to know we are more than our thoughts and feelings and belief systems? We are the beloved expressions of the One Presence, we call God.
September and October Dedicated to understanding Unity Principles.
Our Sunday, Sept. 3 topic is “How to Let God Help You.” I will be presenting Myrtle Fillmore’s transformation. On Sunday, Sept. 10, Rev. Johannys Jimenez-Hertog from Miami and I will present together the Five Basic Principles of Unity in message and song.
On Sept. 24 we will be offering a Unity Basics class at 11:30 covering the basic Unity principles. On Wed. October 4 and 11, I will be offering “Bringing Resilience into Life” at 7 pm.
Blessings, Rev Janice