Reflection: The Woman of Canaan at the Feet of Christ

This gospel passage today is one of my favorites.

The woman calls out to the Lord for help – but she is a Canaanite woman (i.e. *not* a Hebrew/Jew). She knows this, but her pain for her child is so great – and she KNOWS that Jesus has already healed so many – that she goes to him and begs for his mercy and his help anyway. That IS amazing faith AND courage! (Especially with all the disciples trying to run her off…)

But why in the world doesn’t Jesus respond to her (at first)?

The disciples complain that “she keeps calling out after us” so we know that she was persistent. But he seemed to just ignore her… UNTIL she laid herself out in front of him and BEGGED for his help. And even then he sort of blew her off… but she *still* didn’t give up! She didn’t take NO for an answer – she kept pleading and even argued her case:

“Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.”

To me, this is a HUGE example of how we need to pray to God.

(Similar to the parable of the Widow and the Unjust Judge)

Can’t we all relate to the times when we have called out to God and received no response? Or if we feel we have received a response, it’s not the answer we wanted (or think we need)?

This story gives me courage – it tells me that a true demonstration of our faith is how persistent we are in our prayer, knowing that our God is all powerful and answers prayer.

We must “pray without ceasing” – and our faithful Lord will reward our persistence.


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