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, A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 15:21-28

At that time, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 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." 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." He said in reply, " I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." 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 .

The Gospel of the Lord Praise be to you Lord Jesus Christ

REFLECTION: God made everyone in His image and likeness. He loved all His creation. He not only made the Jewish people but also the Gentiles who lived in the region of Tyre and Sidon. So why would Jesus be so harsh to this woman to the point of calling her a dog , especially when she was begging for her daughter's life ? She had faith and nothing said or done would change her belief in Jesus, even if Jesus spoke harshly toward her. SHE KNEW HIM, and knew what he had done for others and what he had been preaching. She knew he would not forsake her --she had sought him out and would not leave him.

The gift of faith is lifechanging. Faith lets us find peace in God and to become worthy citizens of heaven. Once we hear the word of God and accept it, our world becomes filled with God's healing love. The Canaanite woman, though she was not a member of the Jewish community, had faith in Jesus. Great was her love for her daughter that she sought Jesus and begged for her daughter's healing. And great was Jesus' love for the Canaanite woman and for her daughter --an age old love --that it did not matter if she was Jewish or not. His mission was to fulfill the prophecies and to suffer and die for ALL--The Canaanite woman was "in the all"--She represented all of humanity who is forever seeking out the love and peace of Jesus.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, in Jeremiah 31:3, you said to us, "With an age old love I have loved you; so I have kept my mercy toward you". I pray for your priests laboring abroad in distant mission fields. May they be kept close to you, though at times they may feel far from you because of the hardships they are enduring for your kingdom. Amen

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