Daily Reflection
February 9th, 2006

Michele Millard

Cardoner at Creighton
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

1 Kings 11:4-13
Psalm 106:3-4, 35-36, 37 and 40
Mark 7:24-30

“Is that your final answer?” is a question that has become familiar to all of us who have watched the television show, “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” The host gives the contestants one last shot at changing their answers in order to win the cash prize. The story from Mark talks about a woman who in essence asks Jesus that very same question, challenging him on his original answer to her request. In this scene from the New Testament, Jesus is trying to move through this territory unnoticed. However, his reputation had spread to the point where it was difficult to go anywhere without attention being drawn to him. As he was trying to leave, a Greek woman who had heard about him, literally threw herself at his feet and blocked his exit. She was intent upon drawing his attention to her situation; she had a daughter who was “possessed by a demon.” She intuitively knew that this man was the answer to her problem and she was not about to let him go. Jesus first response to her was a bit “offputting” with the response that his role in essence was to Israel and that there would be “leftovers” for the Gentiles. Without missing a beat, she with wit and faith, let Jesus know that even the “dogs under the table could eat the crumbs.” She was not asking for a full feast because she knew that even the crumbs would be enough for her. That did the trick. . . her persistence, her assertiveness, her faith got the attention of Jesus and her child was healed.

This story presents us with a challenge. What is our approach when bringing something before Jesus? Many times our approaches to prayer are pretty pathetic. We don’t spend the time, we talk much more than we listen, we lack specifics and are fairly passive in our approach to the throne. This story teaches us the exact opposite response:

1. We are to be assertive and throw ourselves in front of Jesus.
2. We are to be consistent and persistent, coming back to Jesus with faith
3. We are to be specific and well-defined in our requests.
4. We are to stay open by listening and responding.

So take a moment, reflect and identify where you are on the following continuums:

Passive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Assertive
Irregular . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Consistent
General . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Specific
Talking. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Listening

The woman in this story won the prize. There are prizes waiting for us as well!

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