This homily was given to the sisters and novices of the Servants of the Lord of the Virgin of Matará, at their convent in southeast Washington, D.C.
God is always faithful. Today’s gospel has a profound and yet simple message, demonstrating exactly this fidelity (Mk 7:24-30). In the old covenant, the unique relationship and bond between God and the Jewish people means that, as the Venerable Bede comments, it is right and just that they are the first to receive the messiah when he comes. We recalled, just over a week ago, the faithful old priest Simeon in the temple as Our Lady went to dutifully fulfill the rites of purification. Simeon waited his entire life to see the gloriam plebis tuæ Israel, whom he rightly recognized in the infant Christ. With the messianic prophecy fulfilled and God’s faithfulness guaranteed, he joyfully resigned himself to death in the words of the Nunc dimittis.