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Daily Devotional for August 4


August 4                                                             Mark 7:24-37

The story of the Canaanite woman graphically illustrates that
the good news is for all and that no one is outside of God's
grace. The story is also a portrayal of the recognition and
healing by Jesus of very human constraints within himself. It
shows that he did not find his identity in himself alone, but
also in and through others. The Canaanite woman was the
instrument through which Jesus recognized and confronted
his own cultural bias and prejudice against a people whom he
as a Jew felt were less worthy in the sight of God. In challenging
Jesus, she was the means through which he recognized and
threw off the cultural bonds of hatred, pride, and prejudice.
Through her own faith and presence, she liberated him and
thereby empowered him to broaden the scope of the good

[I strongly disagree that Jesus was ever prejudiced! As always,
he knew exactly what he was doing: testing her faith for her
and all to see. L.M.]

Prejudices, mind-sets, pride - these also keep me from loving
completely and from fulfilling my God-given powers. Who
are the ones whom I feel are expendable, whom I look down
upon, whom I think are my inferiors, whom I dislike, whose
needs I don't want to bother with, who have hurt me and
whom I haven't forgiven? The ones whom I disdain the most
are often Christ in Christ's most distressing disguise. Yet these
very souls may well be the means of our own empowerment
and liberating self-discovery - the discovery of ourselves in
God, of God in ourselves, and of all other persons in God with
ourselves. And this self-discovery then becomes the discovery
not only of ourselves, but also of Christ, the center of all

          O Lord, send the Canaanite of my prejudices to
     confront me. Open my mind and heart to discover you
          in all whom I encounter. Teach me to love fully.

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.198

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