Canaanite Woman

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The statements that Jesus makes in today’s gospel are puzzling to say the least.

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.

Why is the Lord so hard on this poor woman?  First he ignores her and later he is dismissive of her.  Yet, in the end Jesus is moved by compassion because of the greatness of her faith and heals her afflicted daughter.

It’s a great story since it reveals the humanity of Jesus.  He was fixated on his mission to bring the good news to the people of Israel and did not want to be bothered by a Canaanite woman.  Aren’t we that way sometimes?  Don’t we focus so hard on what we think the mission is and fail to recognize those around us who need love and mercy?

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One Response to Canaanite Woman

  1. Mary Thomas says:

    Jesus wants us to vocally call out for his help and mercy.

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