Reflecting on Matthew 15: 21-28
Every three years when this gospel comes around, I cringe at Jesus’ initial dismissal of the desperate Canaanite mother. I agree with Fr. Richard Rohr, though, that it’s a set-up. Yes, Jesus is making her beg him, over and over. Jesus does not require, or even want us to beg for what we need. But he requires it of her because he wants to show her rich and fierce faith to his lukewarm disciples.
We can imagine him saying to them, Do you SEE the faith of this Canaanite woman? She’s never heard of Moses, never set foot in a synagogue, never had ANY of the opportunities to study the Torah that you have had. Yet look at how great is her faith! Of course I can restore her daughter! Her faith has set loose the power of God to heal.
And then I imagine the two of them sharing the biggest laugh, because she responded to the invitation to proclaim her faith in Jesus, and that faith opened up his power to save her and her daughter.
Now then. Yes, every three years I cringe. But this time around I found a whole new, and disturbing, reason: Jesus’ disciples came and asked him, “Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.”
AARGH. Doesn’t that remind you of every long wait in the ER, trying to get medical help for the underserved, or the very LONG lines waiting with those who need help filling out forms for food or housing? Send them away. They keep calling out after us.
C’mon, disciples. RESPOND to those who are calling out after you. What Master did you THINK you were following?
How has your lifelong faith brought healing?
Kathy McGovern ©2023