Wednesday 18th Week of the Year
We learn from the Canaanite woman in the gospel that however many strikes are against us, Jesus will show us mercy.
Things are not always as they appear.
At first look, Jesus does not seem at all interested
in this woman who seeks a healing for her daughter.
He graces her with the persistence to teach us a profound truth –
there is never a reason for us not to approach Jesus and ask his mercy.
In fact, dare I say, that the greater our misery and reason
for not approaching him, the greater will be our experience
of his compassionate love.
This Canaanite woman had many strikes against her.
She was a foreigner and therefore did not even deserve
to be in the presence of a Jew, not to mention
she spoke to him.
We know this because the disciples tried to shoo her away.
Jesus tried to get rid of her telling her
“My mission is only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
To further the insult, Jesus spoke of his people as children
and her people as dogs.
She would hear none of it. Why?
Why was she so persistent?
This Canaanite woman knew the heart of Jesus.
She had many obstacles, primarily legal and cultural taboos
that hindered her acceptance in the Jewish community.
Jesus ploy of ignoring her and challenging her
gave him the opportunity to be with her in those struggles.
He wanted her free of these taboos and healed of any scars
she carried for all the years of her life.
St. Matthew wants us to learn from this Canaanite woman
that no matter how many excuses we have
to remain in our misery and stuck in our wretchedness
the loving embrace of God’s mercy is always surrounding us.
The mother in the gospel would not give up,
no matter how many strikes she had against her.
When Jesus saw this, he told her,
“Oh woman, great is your faith!
Trust in Jesus will overcome every obstacle;
even cultural obstacles that plague us.