Read: Mark 7:24-30
People Fall. Some fall in their credibility, some fall from positions of authority, while some fall from grace. All these create a negative and a cascading effect in the minds of all. Recently there was one fall, that people just laughed, not because the person fell, but the way the person organized herself after the not so pleasant incident in a very high flying programme. The world and the media are talking about the fall of Oscar award winner Jennifer Lawrence. The incident happened on Oscar night, when the winners of different category was being announced. Jennifer Lawrence won the Oscar for best actress, for her role in the movie "Silver Linings Playbook". But as she went to receive her Oscar, she tripped and fell. For a moment, that tripping overshadowed her walk to receive the Oscar. Though the tripping incident was considered not a good gesture in front of an august audience, the fall became the talk of town. What made people love Jennifer and her fall on the steps leading to the podium, was the way she responded at the press conference in a very genuine and funny manner when the people from the media tried to belittling her about her fall. Here was an actress who has made it to the top, yet being mocked in full glare. But she handles the pressure and negativity in a very composed manner. At the backstage when someone from the press asked her whether she purposely fell, her reply was "Of course it was". The answer to the next question was something that she was very genuine. To the question about what was going through her mind as she tripped and fell, she innocently replied that she said a bad word. People in the press conference and the actress were just enjoying the conversation. That is when she was asked what was the process that she undertook to come to Oscar?. Pat comes the reply that she woke up, tried a dress, took a shower, got her hair done and came to Oscar. Here is a lady, an actress, who is on the top of world, yet very genuine, simple not trying to prove to the world or show to the world about the accolades and the honour that she received, on the contrary trying to be as simple and genuine. Neither having any arrogance nor showing off to the world that she is the award winner.. What should be emphasized in each of our life, should be the ability to be genuine in our life, genuine when we are in the heights of glory or even when we become the laughing stock in front of others. Genuiness is very rare and that is something that we need to cultivate in our life.
In Mark 7: 24- 30, we find Jesus exalting a woman for the way she replies, for the way she responds to life when things were not going the way she desired. This incident happened in the region of Tyre, where Jesus encounters a Syrophoencian woman, whose daughter is not well. She seeks the help of Jesus, but at this point of time, Jesus uses a different approach to understand her need and her genuiness both about her need and about her approach to life especially in related to the suffering of her daughter. The way Jesus treats the woman, especially someone who has come to seek help may be assumed very distressing. But, here is Jesus testing the genuiness of her faith and her coming to his presence. Though the words of Jesus seems to be very taunting she is calm and composed. When Jesus tells her that it is not right for children's bread to be tossed and given to the dogs, she replies that she would be comfortable even if she gets the crumbs that lie under the table. Here is a woman whose focus is only to alleviate her daughter's suffering and hence she is willing to be very humble and genuine in her approach to Jesus Christ. What Jesus appreciated through her reply, I feel is that He found the woman to be very unassuming, genuine and innocent even in times of adversity. It is this genuiness that leads to healing of her daughter. Though Jennifer Lawrence tripped and fell in front of an august audience, she was very genuine and sincere to acknowledge who she was and responded without any pretense about the so called infamous incident. What is needed in our life which our Lord teaches us that, we need to be living our life in genuine way, life without any pretense, so that others can truly see who we are, appreciate our true identity and our worth. When we are genuine and comfortable with ourselves we will be comfortable everywhere and with others too. Let us build up a life of genuineness in this time of Lent.
Rev. Dr. Joe Joseph Kuruvilla