Sunday March 12 was the Second Sunday in Lent. As is our tradition Morning Prayer is replaced by chanting the Litany or General Supplication for God’s Mercy. The theme for this Sunday is in fact a lesson in God’s mercy and we should contemplate God’s mercy to mankind & to each of us individually. Bishop Hartley based his sermon on the Gospel for the day, St. Matthew 15:21, the account of the woman of Canaan who comes to Jesus to beg healing for her daughter who was “vexed with a devil.” But “Jesus answered her not.” At that time Jews did not associate with people of Canaan and the disciples tried to send her away, perhaps fearing ritual uncleanliness by associating with her. Jesus explains to her that He was sent to the people of Israel and it would not be right to bless someone outside the Jewish tradition. She agrees but persists and says that even dogs (meaning Gentiles) eat of the crumbs that fall from the master’s table; she recognizes His power and wants His help regardless of tradition & ethnicity. He is impressed by her faith and the fact that her request is the plea of a parent for a child and not based on social issues. She went to the one person who could help her and He finally agrees because of her faith. Here Jesus makes the jump from the Jewish tradition to a universal tradition and the lesson for us is that through Israel & through Jesus all people are blest. This is a new stage in His mission and the Canaanite woman is a symbol of all of us.
After the service we held our bimonthly potluck dinner. We were happy to have with us Chandler Connell visiting his parents from the U.S. Naval Academy were he is a cadet. As we are both classical music fans, after dinner we drove to Springfield to attend a performance by the Springfield Regional Opera, now under the direction of the Spyres family of musicians who are well known in our area. The opera was the Italian comic opera “Don Pasquale” by Gaetano Donizetti, a very entertaining comedy with much beautiful singing and entertainment and we both enjoyed it very much.
For information on St. Francis Anglican (Traditional Episcopal) Church visit our website at stfrancisavamo.org.