Memorial of Saints Cyril, Monk, and Methodius, Bishop
Jesus is the great “uniter.” The second story of creation today reminds us that our differences are meant for one-another’s blessing. God has declared that it is not good for us to be alone. We need to help each other out. This theological truth is imprinted in our bodies as male and female, but it also shows up in the diversity of vocations serving the Church: consecrated religious brothers and sisters, priests, single people and married people all play a vital role in the Kingdom of God here on Earth. Marriage brings new life into the world and develops incredible virtue of generosity, compassion, and unconditional love. Family is where every vocation begins. Consecrated Sisters and Brothers offer themselves in service to the Church and the world, as a unique witness of God’s love- they enrich families, schools, and parishes by their lives. Priests mediate between the people and God through the sacramental life, shepherding people and communities on their walk toward God. Single people are radically available to serve God, the Church, their families, and the world in whatever way and for whatever period of time pleases the lord. We are all better for our diverse callings, and for the ways we need one another and serve one another.
The gospel shows a different type of diversity; a diversity of power. Jesus is a Jew who has secretly left the Jewish areas and traveled to Tyre, a Gentile city. There, a gentile woman asks him to heal her son. In a sense, they are both outsiders to one another. Jesus didn’t belong there, and the woman didn’t have any business asking a religious leader of a foreign faith for a miracle. So they meet, and Jesus ‘plays the part,’ testing her faith. She persists.
There is a lesson here for all of us. If you are a marginalized person, or if you find yourself without power, you have a mission in life. Embrace the dignity that the world has denied you have, and boldly approach the powerful to ask for their help in healing your broken world. Help the powerful see that their true vocation is service. And if you are a privileged or powerful person, your job is to use your power to right the wrongs in this world, to help the marginalized people accept their dignity and live a full and meaningful life. This is our call as Catholic Christians, whatever our vocation. We are better together. Let us walk in love toward our God, helping our neighbors every step of the way. Amen.
- Chris Nieport