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Creatively Listening and Telling the Good News of Jesus

Weekly Reflections

Great Faith

In today’s Gospel we hear Jesus praise the “great” faith of a Canaanite who begs Jesus to cure her daughter. The object of this praise is perhaps surprising. She is a woman and a Canaanite, and thus doubly unacceptable to respectable Jews (Canaan and Israel were ancient enemies).

Matthew’s focus on faith appears deliberate. Mark’s parallel story makes no mention of faith (7:24-30). In Matthew, the Canaanite’s “great” faith invites comparison with last week’s Gospel reading, when Jesus gently chided Peter for his “little faith”, after Peter faltered when he tried to walk on water (14:22-33).

But Matthew doesn’t tell us why this woman’s faith is great. Some commentators think it is because of her persistence in the face of rejection. Some see it in her belief that God’s mercy extends beyond Israel. Perhaps it is her trust that mere metaphorical crumbs from the Israelite’s table are enough to save her daughter. It could be the deference she shows Jesus, kneeling and addressing him as “Lord” and “Son of David”, a Messianic title. Or, it could be the opposite – her bold impertinence in answering Jesus back with a witty play on his own words.

Matthew gives us a multilayered portrait of faith, not a rigid formula defining its quality and quantity. Though we might contrast the woman’s “great” faith with Peter’s “little” faith, perhaps the point is that we don’t always find faith where we expect. 

 Nicky Cusworth

LENT STUDY 2017 

Our book will be Dethroning Mammon: Making Money Serve Grace by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. Sign up sheet in foyer, you can buy a hard copy for $13, or get a kindle/electronic version for about $7 (the US Amazon site is often cheapest.)The study group will meet on Tuesday evenings at 7pm in the Holland Room, starting on 7th March.

 


ADVENT STUDY 2016 with Meditation

Short discussion on weekly readings followed by meditation each Wednesday at 7pm in the Holland Room.

 

LENT STUDY 2016

Our weekly LENT study will begin in the Holland Room at 7pm, Wednesday 17th February. We will be reading Reflections for Lent 2016 by Paula Gooder, Andrew Davison, Martyn Percy and Steven Croft. Copies of the book will be available from the office for $16.50, or you can buy the Kindle edition from Amazon for about $5. Please sign up in the foyer if you would like a copy of the book and/or would like to attend the study group.

 

ADVENT STUDY 2015

This year we will read Richard Rohr’s Preparing for Christmas: Daily Meditations for Advent.

We will meet on Wednesday evenings in the Holland Room at 7pm, starting on

Wednesday 2nd December.

Please sign up on the sheet in the foyer if you would like a book, and would like to attend the study meetings.  A hard copy of the book costs $12, or you can download it from Amazon for kindle if you prefer for about $6.

 

PAST STUDY GROUPS:

LENT STUDY 2015

Lent study this year will be on Wednesdays at 7pm in the Holland Room, beginning 25th February 2015 (the Wednesday after Ash Wednesday). We will be reading Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter  by various authors, the companion book to Watch for the Light, which we read during Advent.

ADVENT STUDY 2014

Our Advent study will use Watch for the Light, a collecting of daily readings by authors including Henri Nouwen, T. S. Eliot, Thomas Merton, John Donne, C. S. Lewis, Dorothy Day, Meister Eckhart, Sylvia Plath and Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
Please sign up in the foyer to order the book ($20), and indicate if you will attend the study group, which will meet at 7pm on Tuesdays during Advent (starting 2nd December.)

SEPTEMBER BOOKCLUB 2013

We will be reading Richard Rohr’s Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the two halves of life.

Weekly notes are available to reflect on your reading using the study journal. Contact the office and we can email these to you.

We will discuss the book at a bring and share dinner on Thursday September 19th at 7pm.

AUGUST BOOKCLUB 2014

We will be discussing Marcus J Borg's novel Putting Away Childish Things on Thursday 7pm 14th August at a bring and share supper in the hall 

2012 ADVENT STUDY BOOK

The Vigil by Wendy Wright can be purchased for $8.95. See Gail or Nicky Cusworth to order. Study Group will be Thursday 6th, 13th & 20th December at 7pm

 


Lent Study:

2012  LENT STUDY

Thursday evening 7-8pm

Feb 21st,  March 7th

Based on Henri Nouwen’s

The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming

 

2012 LENT MEDITATION

Thursday evening 7-8pm

Feb 14th, 28th

 


 Please contact the Parish Office for information on current groups.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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St Columba's Anglican Church
150 Northstead Street, Scarborough, W.A., 6019

Ph: 08 9341 3861 or  Email