Reflection on Scripture Twentieth Sunday Gospel A Persistent faith

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 Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time Gospel A

Then Jesus went from that place and withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 

Matthew tells us about a rare event for Jesus, a journey into pagan territory. Tyre and Sidon were Phoenician cities on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, in modern day Lebanon. He is there with the diciples for some much deserved R and R.

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." 

She is a pagan woman, asking a favor of Jesus, a Jew. She must of heard of his reputation as a healer. Even though she is a pagan, she recognizes Jesus as the Son of David. How? Maybe by the inspiration of the Spirit. She acknowledges something that even most of the Jewish leaders did not.

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."  

When were the times we have missed a divine appointment moment because we didn’t want to be bothered? Or was this Jesus' way of drawing out a deeper faith from the woman? Have you ever experienced the silence of God after you have requested his help? Was God drawing something deeper from us?

He said in reply, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." 

Jesus acknowledges that his primary mission was primarily to the people of the Old Covenant. But as we will see he makes exception, as he has done a number of times already. She is a child of God as well as the Chosen people.

Do you think that Jesus was stretching her, testing her faith? How persistent will she be and to what degree?

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.

How great is our faith? Do we give up easily? Are do we persist no matter the cost to us?

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