As our new Franciscan Friary here in Durham emerges for three diverse ministries (Duke, UNC Chapel Hill, and Holy Cross Parish), we have been challenged to collapse what had been three houses (from the priests who previously staffed those ministries) into our one friary. Obviously there is a fair amount of duplication of household items, and it took a few days to determine what we could use in the new house and what we would give to the poor (does one house really need 3 toasters????). The challenge became determining what items would not in fact be accepted by the local Catholic agencies that assist the needy. It isn’t as if the needy are picky, but rather there are some things that are more of a personal nature, and others that are used to their limit. Regardless, it made me wonder – are there things (scraps) that even the poor don’t want?
That is the key phrase in this Sunday’s Gospel. Jesus is approached by a Canaanite woman whom he refuses a cure for her daughter who is ill because he has come for the Jewish people only. When rebuffed, she challenges him that even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the master’s table! Wow – who is willing to simply eat the scraps? I like leftovers as much as the next person, but I would be offended if I went to a restaurant and they served them as the main course! We’ve become pretty particular as our culture continues to emerge. I wonder however, if we are willing to accept scraps from Christ? Would that be enough for us?
I’ll take Christ’s scraps! Each and every small bit of grace that I can find, I would love to take into my life more and more. And as much as I love to feast at the Banquet of Christ each day, I feel more and more called to search for the scraps, the leftovers from the many situations of my day that seem to be throwaways – things that aren’t even worth pitching to the dogs. But in Christ, all is grace and we are challenged to appreciate what Christ can do in us, even if we only feast on the scraps! Let the Banquet continue!!!!
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