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The Canaanite woman’s faith

Gospel Reading: Mt 15:21-28
At that time Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out, “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon. But he did not say a word in answer to her. His disciples came and asked him, “Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.” He said in reply, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But the woman came and did him homage, saying, “Lord, help me.” He said in reply, “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.” Then Jesus said to her in reply, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed from that hour.

Have pity on me, Lord
The Canaanite woman calls out to Jesus. From Galilee, Jesus has moved away to the north of Tyre and Sidon, a Gentile region, after debating with the Pharisees coming from Jerusalem. This move may effectively end his being maligned and discredited as a lousy and untrained countryside preacher because he does not represent the mainstream Judaism of his time.

Jesus needs a little break. As soon as he gets into the region, however, a Canaanite woman asks for intervention.

This helpless mother intercedes for her daughter tormented by a demon.

Another exhausting work to do: exorcism. Today’s exorcists tell us how hard it is to drive away evil spirits. Not everyone can do it; there are priests officially designated for this ministry. It is not simply saying to the demon, “Get out of her, you devil!” The devil can strike back.

The woman meets resistance from the disciples who say she is too noisy. Even Jesus declares that she is not entitled to the miracle. But the woman refuses to give up, and Jesus praises her great faith and heals her daughter.

Let nothing hinder us from crying out to God who gives in to us if we passionately seek God’s help.

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