By Sharon Wilson
The title of this reflection is how my children got my attention when they were younger. If I didn’t answer to “mom,” they eventually called out my first name. My daughter still does this today.
I suppose it started as soon as they could talk. Being a mother of two children, 15 months apart, and working full time was a pretty blurry time. It wasn’t that I didn’t care about my kids or that I wasn’t listening. It was just that the demands of motherhood, especially with two toddlers in tow, made my brain shut down sometimes. Hearing “mom” every 10 seconds; I just tuned out. Maybe this puts me in the “bad mommy” category, but it was my reality 20 years ago.
In today’s gospel, a Canaanite women begs Jesus to cure her daughter. But the disciples respond, “Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us” (Matthew 15:23).
Even Jesus ignores her twice, stating that He was sent for the lost sheep of the house of Israel, but not her.
“It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs,” Jesus says in verse 26.
What a difficult statement to hear; imagine the rejection felt by this mother!
Then, this woman does something extraordinary. She doesn’t walk away in despair, because she didn’t get what she wanted. She doesn’t walk away in anger and disbelief in the power of Christ’s ability to heal. Rather, she speaks out and catches Jesus’ attention by pleading her case, recognizing in humility that all she needs is the scraps from the master’s table.
I wonder about my own prayers. Am I asking to sit at the master’s table, or do I have enough faith to know that even the scraps from His table are all I need? Am I asking for God to solve all of my problems, or can I see that He is changing me enough to realize that Christ is all I need?
After all, when my children finally got my attention after calling me “mom” umpteen times, they had my attention and usually got what they wanted … or maybe just what they needed.
Have you been praying for some change in your life? Try rethinking your prayer, and ask God to reveal His plan for you.