Sunday, August 20, 2017

Woman, Great is Your Faith

"Woman, great is your faith!" 
Matthew 15:28

This passage can be very confusing. Jesus, who is usually so kind to women, likens a Canaanite woman to a dog. She only comes to Him for his help. Her daughter is terribly troubled by a demon. First He answers that His mission is only to the lost sheep of Israel. She is not deterred. She moves closer and pleads, "Help me, Lord!" 

And then He says the painful and to me, deeply confusing, "It is not right to take the food of sons and daughters and throw it to the dogs." Even this rebuff does not stop her. "Please, Lord," she insists, "even the dogs eat the leavings that fall from their masters' tables." Ahhh, finally, Jesus says in reply, "Woman, you have great faith! Your wish will come to pass." That very moment, the woman's daughter was healed. 

When would I stop and leave? Would I have gone away when the disciples shooed me away? Or the first time Jesus said no? Would I have persisted till Jesus granted me my prayer? 

Saint Augustine, in reflecting on this gospel story, wrote that Jesus was not refusing her. He was toning her desire, training her and in turn teaching us how to pray. Persistently, confidently, knocking without giving up. 

Is there something in our hearts today that we need from the Lord? I can think of many things but one thing above all is breaking my heart. What is happening in my country. Many people are being killed by the police every day. The lives of the guilty, the innocent, the police,  matter. Families matter. Following the law matters.  

Lord of Lords, have pity on us! Our country is deeply troubled by demons on all sides! Save us! Heal our land! I have no doubt, O Lord, that You will hear our prayer for we will continuously knock on Your door for Your mercy! 

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:^) Patsy