Dear Brothers and Sisters,
If you have ever had questioned your faith or wondered if the Lord hears your prayers, then today’s Gospel is for you. Our Lord offers us a powerful lesson in faith, humility, and perseverance. The Canaanite woman (who would not usually speak to a rabbi) approaches Jesus asking him to help her daughter who is suffering. She calls out to Jesus: "Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon."
Obviously this woman has a great need. Her daughter is being tormented by a demon. Most people believe that Jesus would respond with great compassion. But Jesus initially seems to ignore this woman’s dire request. Jesus seems to be testing the woman’s faith. But instead of being discouraged, she persists, kneeling before Jesus and pleading for His help.
Jesus then offers a very surprising statement by comparing the woman and her request to the food meant for the children. He speaks of a priority to minister to the children of Israel. Yet, her unwavering faith and humility shine brightly as she responds, saying even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the master’s table. Her humility and trust touch the heart of Jesus.
What happens next is important for anyone who ever asked Our Lord for help. Jesus commends the woman for her great faith and grants her request, healing her daughter. This is a great lesson for anyone who ever reached out to Jesus for help. Our Lord teaches us in this exchange with this woman that we must of approaching God with faith, humility, and persistence. Like the Canaanite woman, we should never be discouraged by apparent setbacks or challenges. Instead, we must cling to our faith and persevere in prayer, even when it seems our pleas are met with silence.
Furthermore, this passage reminds us that God’s grace and mercy extend beyond boundaries. Jesus’ interaction with the Canaanite woman reveals His desire to include all people, regardless of their background, in His salvific plan. It challenges us to see that no one is beyond the reach of God’s mercy and love.
As we reflect on this Gospel, let us be inspired by the Canaanite woman’s unwavering faith and humility. Let us approach God with the same confidence, trusting that He sees and responds to the depths of our hearts. May we also learn to extend our love and compassion to all, just as Jesus did.
Prayer for Strength - By Pope John XXIII
Every day I need you, Lord, but today especially, I need some extra strength to face whatever is to come. This day, more than any other day, I need to feel you near me to strengthen my courage and to overcome any fear. By myself I cannot meet the challenge of the hour. We are frail human creatures and we need a Higher Power to sustain us in all that life may bring. And so, dear Lord, hold my trembling hand. Be with me, Lord, this day and stretch out your powerful arm to help me. May your love be upon me as I place all my hope in you. Amen.
Fr. Don Kline, V.F.BACK TO LIST