Gospel Woman Speaks for “misfits” outside traditional religious boundaries

Gospel Woman Challenges Jesus
“But look,” Gospel Woman Calls Jesus to Re-think his Mission:  Painting by Consilia Karli

 

“…even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the table of their masters” she said to Jesus when he protested against her plea for her daughter’s healing. (Mt 15:27)

So says the foreign woman who insisted against all odds that Jesus heal her daughter...”  (Matthew Chap 7: 21-28 and Mark Chap 7: 24-30)

Jesus, by right of Jewish law, Scripture, AND tradition, ignored this pagan Canaanite woman’s plea for his attention.

He ignored her because she did not fit into the the cultural and religious paradigm of salvation which formed his mind and conscience. She was NOT only a woman but a foreign-born, Gentile woman…challenging the man who saw himself as messiah of the Jewish people.

What moxie, what strength of character, what nerve she had!

It is no wonder Jesus’ disciples were irritated by her, as they came and asked Jesus, “Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.” (Mt 7:23)

But she persisted and INSISTED. And thus Jesus addressed her explaining, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matthew 15:24)

It took a woman, a foreigner, a pagan woman to see Jesus beyond the confines of his own imagination. He wasn’t going to heal her daughter of the demon which plagued her, no matter how she cried out. It wasn’t His Father’s Will, as far as he could see. She was just a foreign pagan woman. What did she know of his mission as Messiah to the Children of God?

But she persisted and INSISTED. What moxie, what strength of character, what nerve she had!

She would NOT be dismissed. She would NOT give up her desire to be part of the inclusive love of God Jesus was proclaiming. Nor would she give up her faith in him as the one who loves large.

Jesus almost listened to his friends and followers. But something made him stop. His compassion for her? …perhaps.

He engages her… at first explaining why he couldn’t help her… God’s will…his mission was at stake…the children of Israel were his only concern. “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs” he explained in a moment of cognitive dissonance. (Mk 7:27)

Yet she stood her ground and reminded him,”…even the dogs eat the crumbs from the table where the children eat.” The crumbs…yes, the crumbs… Jesus must have pondered her response to the moral dilemma she presented to him:

“Crumbs for the dogs under the table? Is it possible?
A place for the outsider at the table of the children of God?
… even if only under the table?”

Unbeknownst to her, this foreign, pagan woman asked for nothing less than a quantum leap in Jesus’ understanding of his broader mission to the world. Then suddenly the moral dilemma resolves itself in Jesus’ mind:

“When she replied and said to him, ‘Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s scraps.; Then Jesus said to her in reply, ‘O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.’ And her daughter was healed from that hour. 
(Mark 7: 28 and Matthew 15: 28)

This foreign woman’s faith in God’s Love…her faith in her worth as a person in God’s eyes…and her faith in Jesus and his preaching…THIS faith is what brought Jesus to a moral dilemma in conflict with his Jewish tradition.

This moral dilemma called forth a choice, on Jesus part, between a strict interpretation of tradition and a quantum leap in theological consciousness of how tradition is to be interpreted in his time. It required a quantum leap in Jesus’ understanding of who God is and what God wants…in his historical time and culture.*

Isn’t this the leap in consciousness that we need today in order to re-vision the theology that forms the basis of all doctrine, governance and liturgy in our Church?

Isn’t this the very sense of a living tradition that Vatican II continues to call forth from Christianity and Catholicism today?

*    *   *.  *.  *.  *

NOTE: Some assume that Jesus knew it all and needed no development of conscience or consciousness, but that would be heresy in regard to Jesus’ full embrace of humanity as defined in the doctrine of the Incarnation.  More to come…

Divine Mercy Sunday: Pope Francis, HAVE MERCY on the Vatican II Church!

The Vatican II Church has documents but no canonical visibility,
no prelature or Church/Rite status out of which to establish 
its unique identity and authority to
interpret theology, governance and liturgy from a different perspective.

The Vatican II Church has no canonical status or authority.
Opus Dei and the Eastern Churches/rites in union with Rome
have both canonical status and authority in their efforts
to preserve Catholicism as they see it.
Does the Conciliar Vatican II Church have no such rights?
*   *   *   *

Does Pope Francis believe the “Reform of the Reform Church” would be a Vatican II Church if it just represented Church laws and doctrines from a more open and pastoral mindset?

Vatican II theologian Massimo Faggioli seems to differ with pastoral approach as being an adequate response.   He writes with alarm about “the growing one-way consensus of ‘doing theology’.  He further claims that “the politics of funding theological initiatives on Catholic campuses…has even distorted the way of doing theology…whereby “various entities offer not only different but obviously incompatible understandings of Catholicism.”

international.la-croix.com/news/polarization-in-the-church-and-the-crisis-of-the-catholic-mind/6444
 Have our expectations of Pope Francis been somewhat naive in our insistence that the “Reform of the Reform” Church is just some fringe minority and not a global Catholic phenomenon well-structured, well-strategized and well-resourced?  Check out the metadata collected by National Catholic Reporter:

Conservative donors aim to shape Catholic narrative for the wider culture

•  “The annual Napa Institute gatherings held at one of Busch’s California resorts regularly attracts leading conservative archbishops and cardinals from the U.S. and the Vatican. It is a gathering for those at the upper end of the economic spectrum…”
•  “In addition to Acton, the Becket Fund and the Federalist Society, [another high-profile conservative funder] lists as affiliations on his company’s website the following: the American Enterprise Institute; Catholic Leadership Institute; EWTN; Ethics and Public Policy Center; FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students); and the Napa Institute.”
• “Timothy Busch, speaker at the ‘Good Profits’ conference for high-profile conservative funders at Catholic University, noted “that big money and the right economic philosophy can bridge deep ideological and theological divides.”
 
• “A former director of Catholic University’s Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies perceives this surge in growth of Catholic nonprofits like the Napa Institute seeing themselves as “the real evangelizing corps in the church” as providing an alternative structure to the church.”
 
*   *   *   *
The Vatican II Church has documents but no canonical visibility,
no prelature or Church/Rite status out of which to establish 
its unique identity and authority to
interpret theology, governance and liturgy from a different perspective…

no canonical status or authority as Opus Dei
and the Eastern Churches/rites in union with Rome have
in their efforts to preserve Catholicism as they see it
.

*    *    *

Remember when Francis told us to act and not worry about the consequences?
On the feast of Divine Mercy, April 8, 2018, shouldn’t we be challenging Pope Francis to act and not worry about the consequences, instead of continuing to allow the Church to fall into a monolithic consensus of “Reform of the Reform” Catholicism?  Polarization or Stifling Consensus: The Only Choices?