Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Reflection: Matthew 15:21-28

18th Week in Ordinary Time – Matthew 15:21-28

Today we experience a side of Jesus that we do not expect. Jesus and his disciples withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. As they were walking along, a Canaanite woman came to Jesus. She called out to him, begging Jesus: “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me! My daughter is possessed and the demon is tormenting her!” However, Jesus does not even acknowledge her presence or her plea.

However, the woman does not give up. She continued to call out to them. Finally, his disciples come to Jesus and tell him to send the woman away. Jesus’ response to them was curt. He said: “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel!” Then the woman came to Jesus and did him homage. She begged him: “Lord, help me.” Jesus bluntly replied: “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

The woman persisted. She did him homage and once again said: “Lord, help me.” Jesus once again refused. He told the woman that he could not take food from the children of Israel and “throw it to the dogs” (for the Canaanites typically were called “dogs”). However, the woman was determined. She told Jesus: “Even dogs eat the scraps that fall from the master’s table.” She begged him to throw a few scraps to her beloved daughter.

Jesus was amazed at her faith, her persistence and her deep love for her daughter. Jesus then tells her: “Let it be done for you as you wish.” And immediately, her daughter was healed!

What are the scraps you desire from Jesus’ table? How persistent are you with Jesus? Today may we be as persistent with Jesus as this mother was! May we trust that Jesus will not disappoint us!

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