Fr. Kurian KollapallilA Canaanite woman comes out of the gentile territory in search of Jesus with the hope that only Jesus can heal her daughter who was possessed with demons (Matt. 15:21-28). The woman’s faith is also shown in her persistence with Jesus. She is not easily dissuaded, even when Jesus refers to throwing the “children’s” (the Jews) food to the “dogs” (the Gentiles). The woman insists that she has some rights, even though she belongs to the “dogs” that eat the scraps from the table. She has great faith that God has no barriers and distinctions based on creed or color, race or language. She believed that God will feed the “children” and the “dogs” – both Gentiles and Jews.
The Gospel passage helps us to reflect upon:
Faith- How strong is our faith? Do we persevere in prayer or do we get easily disappointed? The Canaanite woman was persistent in faith and she believed that only Jesus could save her daughter.
Attitude: The religious leaders despised the Gentiles for their religious and ethical practices. God has no distinctions; we have to overcome our narrow mindedness to see every one as God sees. Do we exclude others on the basis of religion, denomination, age and nationality?
Do I consider myself better than those new Catholics due to my Catholic origin, practices and Sunday observances? Am I biased and prejudiced? Are there any people or groups who are automatically included in my circle of friends and church members? Are any overlooked or ignored? Whom do I consider superior/inferior and not worth my time? In other words who are the Canaanites in our time?
“The whole ground work of prayer is based on humility and that the more a soul lowers itself in prayer the more God raises it up” St. Teresa of Avila.