Lent 2 Sermon Mar 17 2019 Fr. Michael Cawthon

//Lent 2 Sermon Mar 17 2019 Fr. Michael Cawthon

Lent 2 Sermon Mar 17 2019 Fr. Michael Cawthon

This is one of my favorite gospel readings, for in it I find a Hero who is worthy of being called such…a hero who

cries out:

LORD HELP ME

In the Gospel this morning we see a TRANFORMATION of God Grace’s from being of the Jews only;

to the Gentiles: as Jesus gives to us a glimpse of the future.

Many of us relate to this wonderful woman, a Canaanite.

For we are as outcasts: living in a world that is not ours,

but of sin and ugliness of evil and its consequences.

Canaanites were considered unworthy of God,

as Outcasts who do not belong.

 

As Jesus has withdrawn to the Gentile territory,

a woman from Canaan calls out to Jesus with reverence;

Thou Son of David.

We all have experienced times of helplessness;

reaching out for help in times of distress,

as things seem to be / beyond our control:

Problems of family, marriages, friendships, employment, health, finances, and aging …

the reasons vary and can be many.

In the Gospel most of us can relate with this poor women:

crying out for help and receiving none.

How many of us have felt “pushed away”

by those from whom we seek help (?),

enduring harsh words, thus becoming discouraged and withdrawn.

 

My brethren, this world can be brutal,

and bad times often open the door, for Satan to enter in;

thus, a hardening process often begins within our heart, soul, and mind.

Many of us have entered into these types of situations,

as we entered into a self-defense mode

(you know the feeling – of bunkering down)

and as we do we create more anger and rage

as depression slowly overwhelms us,

along with a feeling of helplessness, gloom surrounds us.

 

Emotions can steal the Light of Christ as we tend to withdraw

within ourselves.

Often times we will blame others, maybe God himself.

We strike at others as we isolate ourselves (for can we trust?):

and turn dangerously to things that can bring any relief,

even if just temporary.

Tragically, people around us may have these feelings, or we may have them.

It is within this type of gloom and doom that the woman of Canaan lives, plus she has a very sick, and possibly dying, daughter …

she is facing a very tough situation.

 

And yet this woman from Canaan, whom we know not her name –

well, I just call her Maggie – for this is one tough lady – tough as nails),

and in the midst of all of her pain and gloom,

she gives us

a wonderful gift.

Let us walk a few steps with this lady, an outcast of the Jews:

grieved and down trodden as her daughter

hangs on to life as she was “grievously vexed  with a devil.”

Obviously desperate, we hear as she cries out in pain and  what does she hear – nothing as she is

rejected by Jesus,

receiving no response,

and even pushed away by Jesus disciples.

(of this The Church particularly should take note…)

and then she hears the ultimate rejection – a real slap down;

just listen to these very discouraging words of Jesus

as He tells her that He, Jesus, had come for

“the lost house of Israel”

implying He did not come for “her”

as His mission confined Him to the Jews.

What is going on here?  She being ignored and then rejected:

but she endures

she carries on (like a good Marine)

heck she not only endured, but catch this

she then worshipped Him.

But why?

DID SHE KNOW SOMETHING?

I love these next verses as you can just see, this marvelous woman,

just starting to warm up AND SHE KNOWS THE WAY,

as the second round begins – she lands a solid punch as she utters the words:

“Lord, help me.”

It is not in scripture but when reading this I imagine a warm smile come upon Jesus face…

FOR YES INDEED SHE KNEW SOMETHING

These simple words SEEM so difficult for many of us to say;

especially those who have heeded the lies of this world

(IN WHICH THEY PROCLAIM GOD IS DEAD)

The world distorts and distracts with things of this world

as it promotes illusions and might of a Godless Secular World.

 

Just what do these words “Lord, help me” imply?

First that we lower and humble ourselves and give obedience to His Will.

Contrary to what this world tells us; it is through humbleness, patience, and obedience,

that we acknowledge something greater than self.

If the woman from Canaan had a prideful and darkened heart, her further pleas would have ceased

and cursing probably would have begun.

And now if all of this is not enough – Jesus places before her one more hurdle:

as the Gospel hits a new low, (a new low blow)

as Jesus says the words (I would dare to say – THE cruel words)

as reference is made to a dog as He says:

“it is not meet to take the children’s bread,

and cast it to the dogs.”

 

What is going on here (?)

Jesus is equating this non-Jews with the Dogs!!!!

Surely these words will start a fight…

But here “Maggie” shows her true toughness (her true faith,)

instead of arguing with the Lord

(as most of us we would)

she simply reply’s:

“Truth Lord”

(Acknowledging her unworthiness

and his Lordship over her)

“YET THE DOGS EAT OF THE CRUMBS

WHICH FALL FROM THEIR MASTER’S TABLE.”

 

And Maggie has withstood these blows not for herself,

but for the love of her daughter.

Even after all the obstacles and hurdles:

This hero still believed,

she still had faith,

even after all of this,

she continues to call him Lord.

 

If anyone needs a hero (an example), if you want to see a real “Super hero / a Super Woman” look no further.

During this Lenten period, let us follow her lead

asking God to Have mercy upon us.

The lesson for you this morning is:

don’t stop,

don’t rebel,

don’s quit, never give up,

but do cry aloud; Have mercy:

Lord help me to overcome sin and Satan in my life.

Come forward and soften and nurture my heart,

For I seeking to be “made whole from this very hour.”

(Just as this woman’s daughter from Canaan…)

Hear in your heart His words:

Great is thy faith:

be it unto thee even as thou wilt…

be whole from this hour forward.

 

May “Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”  Phil. I.2

Now, go forth in His Name…

for the hour cometh and now is when true worshippers should worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the father seeketh such to worship him…

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