Jesus and the Canaanite Woman

“He answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” (Matthew 15:26-27)

In our first reading, God speaking through Jeremiah says: “I have loved you with an everlasting Love.” As individuals, we do not have the same experience of God but one thing that is clear is that God’s love for each and every one of us is real.

In the encounter between Jesus and the Canaanite woman, the first lesson we learn is the persistence of this woman. She just wasn’t prepared to give up. At first, Jesus did not answer her word. This did not put her off. Then Jesus said: “I was sent ONLY to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Again, this could not stop her. The third blow was when Jesus said: “It is not fair to give the children’s bread to the dogs.” This again did not deter the woman.

Dear friends, each time I read this passage, I am always challenged never to give up asking from God. Too often, after praying for something for a while, I start to believe God is no longer interested in doing it for me. Looking at this woman’s experience, I now see that every time I get a “No” from God, it only means: “Try again.”

Apart from this woman’s persistence, another lesson we learn from her is her gentle attitude towards life. When she was going to Jesus she was not prepared for such a test but she went with something we must all have: a heart large enough to absorb insults. Just see how she responded to Jesus regarding the crumbs and dogs analogy!

Until we all learn to take insults, life could be hard for us. Learn to bring yourself down; learn to swallow your pride and take things not too seriously. If this woman had become irritated with Jesus’ statement, would she have received the miracle? It is possible that she felt bad within but she did not express it. She simply said: “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”

There are many who have unknowingly walked away from greatness all because they gave up asking. Don’t stop asking. Be humble. Humility Pays.

Let us pray: Lord Jesus may give me the type of faith that the Canaanite woman had. Amen.

Bible Study: Jeremiah 31:1-7, Psalm 31:10-13, Matthew 15:21-28).

Fr. Abu

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