Fr. Dave's Take On It: 8/20/17

A CNN journalist heard about a very old Jewish man who had been going to the Western Wall to pray twice a day, every day, for a long, long time. So she went to check it out. She went to the Wall and there he was, walking slowly up to the holy site. She watched him pray and after about 45 minutes, when he turned to leave, she approached him for an interview.

“Pardon me, sir, I’m Rebecca Smith from CNN. What’s your name?” “Morris Feinberg,” he replied. “Sir,” she continued, “how long have you been coming to the Western Wall and praying?” “I’ve been coming here for over 60 years.” “Sixty years. That’s amazing!” she remarked, “What do you pray for?” “Well,” the old gentleman thoughtfully responded,” I pray for peace among Christians, Jews, and Muslims. I pray for all the hatred in the world to stop. I pray for our children to grow up safely. I pray that politicians tell us the truth. And finally, I pray for all people to be happy.” “And how do you feel after doing this for 60 years?” “Well, Morris exclaimed, “I feel like I’ve been talking to a brick wall!”

I wonder if the Canaanite woman in this weekend’s Gospel felt that way. Here she was, going way out of her comfort zone, approaching Jesus in public, a man whose religion referred to her people as dogs, asking for healing for her daughter, hoping against hope that He would be different. In the end, of course, Jesus startled her by treating her with love and compassion. Jesus was no brick wall, but a soft heart. And we, as his disciples, are called to do the same. It doesn’t mean watering down our principles just so we can be nice or let anything go; but it also doesn’t mean that we are so rigid and opinionated that we can never discover where someone is truly coming from and how we can be compassionate and understanding, recognizing that sometimes that is all the person needs for great healing to take place.

Soon school will be starting again and there will be discussions about bullying. One can only wonder Fr. Dave’s Take on it... Mission Statement The Manitowoc Catholic Community exists as a sacramental body of Christ, to love as Christ loved, by boldly proclaiming our faith, teaching our youth, spreading the Good News of Jesus, and serving one another and others in an ever changing community. whether some kids learn that aggressiveness from some of us. I would hope that, instead, we adults and teens would model compassion and understanding. There are enough brick walls for children to butt up against; let none of us ever be one of them!

In the waning summertime,

Fr. Dave

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