Jesus heals the sick and feeds the hungry - Catholic Courier

Jesus heals the sick and feeds the hungry

Jesus heals the sick and feeds the hungry
Bible Accent: Canaan
Saint for Today: St. Porcarius

Jesus heals the sick and feeds the hungry

After answering questions from the scribes and Pharisees about what they referred to as “the traditions of the elders,” Jesus left that area and traveled to the region of Tyre and Sidon. When she had heard that Jesus was near, a Canaanite woman who lived in the region found him and called out to him. “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon.” But Jesus made no reply to her request.

The apostles who were with Jesus said to him, “Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.”

Jesus said to them, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

The woman persisted with her pleas to Jesus. She called to him a second time. “Lord, help me.”

This time Jesus answered her. “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” The woman did not stop asking Jesus for his help. “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.”

Then Jesus looked directly at the woman and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And when he had said that the woman’s daughter was healed immediately.

Jesus proceeded up to the Sea of Galilee where he found a place to sit on the top of a mountain. Many people followed Jesus, bringing with them the sick or deformed or handicapped in some way, seeking the healing power of Jesus. Jesus showed compassion for those who came to him and he healed them. When the people saw so many miracles of healing, they praised and glorified God.

Jesus knew the people were hungry. They had been near Jesus for three days, and they had eaten little if any food during that time. Jesus told his apostles to bring to him whatever food they had or could find. “Where could we ever get enough bread in this deserted place to satisfy such a crowd?”

The apostles told Jesus that they had seven loaves of bread and a few fish. Jesus gave thanks to God for the food and shared it with the people. At the end there were seven baskets of food scraps left over.

Matthew 15

1. What did Jesus say about the woman’s faith?
2. What did Jesus do with the bread and fish?

Bible Accent: Canaan

The woman who came to Jesus in today’s story was from Canaan, which is where modern-day Israel and Lebanon are today. The ancient inhabitants of Canaan were farmers, merchants and traders. There was a man named Canaan in the Old Testament, who was the son of Ham and the grandson of Noah. The people of Israel at the time considered the people of Canaan, the Canaanites, as immoral and worshippers of idols and false gods. For Jesus to help a Canaanite woman was similar to the parable Jesus told of the good Samaritan, in other words, helping people who were not respected, or who were hated, by the Jews of the day. Even though she was not a Jew, she had faith, and Jesus recognized that and healed her daughter.

Saint for Today: St. Porcarius

Porcarius (d. 732) was the abbot of a very famous French abbey on an island off the coast of Provence. By the time Porcarius was the religious leader, more than 500 monks, novices and familiars were living there. In a vision, an angel appeared to Porcarius warning him that a horde of barbarians would soon attack the abbey by sea. The abbot immediately put the young novices and boys who were being educated at the abbey on a ship and had them delivered to a safe place. Those who remained on the island prepared for death or imprisonment. These pirates, most likely from Spain or North Africa, did attack the abbey and killed everyone except for four people, who were forced into slavery. We honor the bravery of Porcarius and the other martyrs on Aug. 12.


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