SOLACE: Soul + Grief

The Syrophoenician Woman-Faith and Healing

November 24, 2023 Candee Lucas Season 2 Episode 49
The Syrophoenician Woman-Faith and Healing
SOLACE: Soul + Grief
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SOLACE: Soul + Grief
The Syrophoenician Woman-Faith and Healing
Nov 24, 2023 Season 2 Episode 49
Candee Lucas

What would you do for the one you love?  Would you stand before a stranger, plead for a miracle, and let faith guide your path?  That's the journey we embark on today, through the eyes of Justa.

The story of Justa and her daughter Bernice is a testament to perseverance and the immeasurable power of a mother's love. Despite being outsiders, their faith in Jesus's abilities never wavered, reminding us of the healing power of love and the importance of holding onto faith.  Uncover the depth of their story and the lessons we can learn from their remarkable journey.  Join us, let's journey together.

Be sure to subscribe to this podcast on Google Podcasts, Apple, Amazon Music, Spotify, or follow us on the Facebook pages of Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Los Altos, California, or Calvary Cemetery in San Jose, California.

SPIRITUAL DIRECTION WHILE GRIEVING IS AVAILABLE FREE OF CHARGE

You can reach us at: ccoutreach@dsj.org
To arrange personal spiritual direction:  408-359-5542


Our theme music is:  Gentle Breeze by Yeti Music from the album "Uppbeat".
Additional Music and sound effects today by:   via Pixabay

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

What would you do for the one you love?  Would you stand before a stranger, plead for a miracle, and let faith guide your path?  That's the journey we embark on today, through the eyes of Justa.

The story of Justa and her daughter Bernice is a testament to perseverance and the immeasurable power of a mother's love. Despite being outsiders, their faith in Jesus's abilities never wavered, reminding us of the healing power of love and the importance of holding onto faith.  Uncover the depth of their story and the lessons we can learn from their remarkable journey.  Join us, let's journey together.

Be sure to subscribe to this podcast on Google Podcasts, Apple, Amazon Music, Spotify, or follow us on the Facebook pages of Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Los Altos, California, or Calvary Cemetery in San Jose, California.

SPIRITUAL DIRECTION WHILE GRIEVING IS AVAILABLE FREE OF CHARGE

You can reach us at: ccoutreach@dsj.org
To arrange personal spiritual direction:  408-359-5542


Our theme music is:  Gentle Breeze by Yeti Music from the album "Uppbeat".
Additional Music and sound effects today by:   via Pixabay

Candee Lucas:

We welcome you to SOLACE: Soul + Grief. When we started this ministry, we understood how difficult it was to lose a loved one, and we had hoped to create a space in a ministry that addressed these concerns and served as a source of comfort and wisdom for those who travel with God on their grief journey. This is brought to you by Catholic Cemeteries Diocese of San Jose. We're glad you're here. You're always welcome in our circle of healing, love and support.

Candee Lucas:

Today, we're going to talk about the grief of the Syrophoenician woman, who most people know as the woman from Canaan who came to Jesus when he was traveling in the north and asked for the healing of her daughter, who was possessed by demons. This is a puzzling story for all of us who have experienced our Lord as a font of love and acceptance and caring who, when we think of the word pastoral, embodies all of those qualities welcoming, healing the sick and lame-- touches the lepers. Yet this woman from Canaan is subject to his scorn. I'm not sure if Jesus is judging the woman from Canaan. I'm not sure he's not having a bad. For Justa was a mother in grief. Her daughter Bernice was suffering. There was no end in sight, so she took it upon herself to approach this Nazarene, this stranger, this man outside her tribe, and ask for help. How can we know what courage it took for her to do this? Is it a measure of her love for her daughter? Is it a measure of her daughter's suffering when she knows how she will be received as an outsider, as not a member of the group, as a stranger, as an other? And yet the love of her daughter is so great that she puts those considerations aside when she approaches the rabbi from the southern region. And according to their meeting and the stories told in the Gospels, Jesus did not receive her well. He was new to his ministry and at this point, as it became more public, we can see him becoming more uncomfortable with it. He seems to be starting to experience the juxtaposition of his humanness and his divine self as it evolves. This is one of the stories that has a lot of credence, since it appears in two versions which are very much the same, and Jesus reacts the same in both versions. So as we step back from the scene and we watch him interact with Justa, and we know that he in the end heals Bernice, we are reminded that the depths and breadth of his love is such that he doesn't even understand it or comprehend it, or even recognize that it's the source of all his miracles, this pool of divine love that he draws from the source, the font, his father's precious gift to us on earth. Her name was Justa. Her name was Justa, and history tells us that her daughter's name was Bernice. We don't know why her name was not used in Matthew and in Mark, or why her daughter had no name in the scripture, but women in the first century, whether Syrophoenician, Jewish or Gentile, often were not important enough to be named.

Candee Lucas:

Think of Justa arising that day, having spent a sleepless night by the bed of her daughter, exhausted, at her limits and in deep grief for what she sees is happening to her child. And she makes out, because she has heard of this Nazarene, that he is nearby and that he can do miracles. So she makes her way down the road--- we do not know how long she traveled, but let's say she traveled most of the day and she reaches the camp of the Nazarene toward nightfall. She sees him sitting near a fire. Can tell which one is him, by the way the others listen to every word coming from his mouth. They have finished dinner and are speaking comfortably around the fire. As she approaches, she is outside the circle, someone in the dark. When she speaks to Jesus, when she implores him to heal her child.

Candee Lucas:

Now it happened that the many men and women around the fireside were conversing, arguing, laughing, talking, having enjoyed a communal meal, and perhaps her voice was lost in the dark. So she steps closer and she says Lord, son of David, heal my daughter. The woman is filled with sorrow and grief. She's at the end of the day and the end of her rope and has gone to find this man that she has heard can do miracles. And when he ignores her, she is stricken once more. She has come all this way and is there to be no help?

Candee Lucas:

She pulls herself up once more, steps one foot closer to the fire and says Lord, son of David, please, I beg of you, please consider my daughter and heal her from the demons that possess her. He has done this before. She has heard of how demons have been outed. So she boldly asks one more time. He speaks to her and the words have no meaning when she explains to him her willingness to go to the ends of the earth and the ends of her faith. He says to her --you may go, the demon has gone out of your daughter.

Candee Lucas:

Yet one of the lessons of the Canaanite woman is perseverance and the lesson-- the hard lesson to always come back with love. When Jesus seems to reject Justa, she comes back at him with love. She reminds him of her own faith in his love and his goodness and of the love she carries for her daughter, and in the end, the love shines through. Bernice is healed, Justa is rewarded for her faith and Jesus is reminded of his purpose. That concludes another episode. Please support us by subscribing on Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts. We always welcome your comments and feedback. Remember, spiritual direction is always available through Catholic Cemetery. I'm Candee Lucas, chaplain, aftercare coordinator and spiritual director at Catholic Cemeteries. You can reach us through the email or telephone number on the show notes. Be gentle with yourselves. Travel safely with God, Vaya con Dios.

The Grief of the Syrophoenician Woman
Lessons of Perseverance, Love, and Healing