The first half of this reading is one that stops me in my tracks every time I read it. Did Jesus really just call that woman a dog?!

Read Mark 7:24-37.

I wonder if, rather than trying to insult her, Jesus was pushing her to claim hers and her daughter’s worthiness. The mother claimed her own worthiness in crossing religious and cultural barriers to even ask for healing on her daughter’s behalf. Regardless of her background, she believes her daughter is worthy of a life free from whatever it is that torments her.

The second half of the reading could also be looked at in terms of worthiness. In vs. 37, the bystanders say, “he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.” That word “even” infers that only Jesus would bother with someone who was deaf and blind. Where the people around him only see what is wrong with those they view as flawed or contaminated or worthless, Jesus looks on them with compassion and mercy, offering a new life and a new identity that they probably had never imagined for themselves.

To what extent do you believe you are worthy of Jesus’ healing? What voices try to convince you that you are not worthy of love, connection, and belonging? Are they the voices of others or is it that critical, inner voice?

Today in prayer, claim your worthiness as God’s beloved and boldly ask for healing of body, mind, spirit, and/or relationship.


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