Part One: Scripture
Don’t you think it is a bit shocking when Jesus says to the Canaanite women: “Great is your faith?” What faith? She was not a Jew. She worshiped the gods of Tyre and Sidon. Jews (and Catholics) would have understood her idea of the spiritual world as warped and incomplete. But her daughter was healed because of her faith. How are we to understand this?
Faith has an important doctrinal content: we “profess our faith” every Sunday in a confirmation of its content. But the core of saving faith is not doctrine but trust in God, which overcomes all doctrinal weaknesses. The Canaanite women recognized in Jesus a representative of God by whatever name, and she threw her trust on him, risking ridicule and abuse: “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.”
The risen Christ would later praise the Church of Ephesus for “your works, your labor and your endurance,” and especially for protecting the true teaching —protecting “the faith.” But a word of judgment followed: “Yet, I hold this against you: you have lost the love you had at first” (Rev 2:2-4). Their fault was coldhearted orthodoxy. They had been so focused on eradicating error that they left no leeway for love of those in error.
Jesus’ response to the Canaanite woman is less surprising after hearing Isaiah’s prophesy, which upset Israelites, when Isaiah said that “foreigners” would worship God. The Israelites hear this prophesy at the very time they were returning from the Exile, and were chafing from the domination of “foreigners,” and were intent on reestablishing pure observance and worship. God takes them deeper: “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.”*
*Father Jerome Kodell, OSB, and former abbot of Subiaco Abbey in Arkansas.
The reflection of Father Kodell may indicate a path forward in this time of social unrest. The history of racial and ethnic divisions is deadly. Has not our commitment to orthodoxy left us with cold hearts? So, the judgment expressed in the Book of Revelation may apply also to us, that is, we have lost the love we had at first.
This country has a history of commonwealth. Several states were constituted as commonwealths. Today, unfortunately, many persons do not know the meaning of word commonwealth. The way forward may be a rediscovering of the meaning and concept of commonwealth. Thus we will be able to construct a society that provides liberty and justice for all.
Part Two: Re-Opening Churches
Cardinal Tobin dispenses the faithful from the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday and Holy Days. Those who are at risk because of an underlying health issues or who are 60 years old or older are strongly encouraged to avoid attending public celebrations of Mass because it carries the risk of contagion. We will continue to live-stream the Sunday Mass in Spanish at 9:00 a.m. and in English at 11:00 a.m.
Please subscribe to the parish YouTube channel and our facebook page. It is free to subscribe. YouTube channel: Saint Lucy.
St. Lucy celebrates publicly weekday Masses, funerals, weddings, and baptisms. Before each Mass, the church will be opened 15 minutes for personal and private prayer. The church will be locked after Mass.
Please pre-register online or by phone if you intend to attend Sunday Mass in person. Registration enables us to maintain “social distancing.” The occupancy of the church is currently set at 100. This number may be raised later.
In Phase 3 it is no longer necessary to open the church for personal and private prayer from noon until 3:00 p.m.
St. Lucy celebrates publically weekday Masses, funerals, weddings, and baptisms. Before each Mass, the church will be opened 15 minutes for personal and private prayer. The church will be locked after Mass.