Most of us are the foreigners, the non-Israelites, about whom today’s First Reading prophesies. Coming to worship the God of Israel, we stand in the line of faith epitomized by the Canaanite woman in today’s Gospel. Calling to Jesus as Lord and Son of David, this foreigner shows great faith in God’s covenant with Israel.
Jesus tests her faith three times. He refuses to answer her cry. Then, He tells her His mission is only to Israelites.
Finally, he uses “dog”, ‘a derogatory remark or insulting image’ used to disparage non-Isaraelites (Matthew 7:6). Yet she persists, believing that He alone offers salvation. In this family drama, we see fulfilled Isaiah’s
prophecy and the promise we sing of in today’s Psalm. In Jesus, God makes known among all the nations His way and His salvation (John 14:6). At the start of salvation history, God called Abraham (Genesis 12:2). He chose his offspring, Israel, from all the nations on the face of the earth, to build His covenant kingdom (Deuteronomy 7:6-8; Isaiah 41:8).
In God’s plan, Abraham was to be the father of many nations (Romans 4:16-17). Israel was to be the
firstborn of a worldwide family of God, made up of all who believe what the Canaanite professes – that
Jesus is Lord (Exodus 4:22-23; Romans 5:13-24). Jesus came first to restore the kingdom to Israel
(Acts 1:6; 13-46). But His ultimate mission was the reconciliation of the world, as Paul declares in
In the Mass we join all peoples in doing Him homage. As Isaiah foretold, we come to His holy mountain,
the heavenly Jerusalem, to offer sacrifice at His altar (Hebrews 12:22-24, 28). With the Canaanite, we
take our lace at the Master’s table, to be fed as His children.
DARE TO PERSEVERE IN KNOCKING ON THE GATES OF HEAVEN IN PRAYER AND THE LORD WILL OPEN HIS FLOODGATES OF BLESSINGS UPON YOU LIKE THE CANAANITE WOMAN, BE A PERSON OF FAITH.