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What About Yours?

Woman, you have great faith! Let your wish be granted
Isaiah 56:1,6-7; Psalm 67:2-3,5-6,8; Romans 11:13-15,29-32; Matthew 15:21-28

Sermon Week Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A

Scripture Summary Matthew 15:28

A father who worked as an electrical engineer was helping his 14-year-old daughter with her online schoolwork. After explaining the properties of alternating and direct current, the daughter looked up from her screen and said, “Dad, you're so smart you should be a woman."

For parents, when your child goes off to college or moves away to start a career or family of their own, suddenly, God gives you a break. You no longer see the hours of helping them with online schoolwork, messy rooms, or hear the shouts of rebellion. And suddenly, you realize that in your God given life you have known something of the mystery of Divine Love -- that desperately intense, unconditional love and care which nothing can shut out. And your child is transfigured before your eyes, so completely that it reinforces your belief in the wonder and glory of God.

Today's Gospel Lesson is the story of a woman who is trying desperately to provide her daughter with a mother's tender, loving care.

The mother is a "Canaanite woman," Matthew tells us. The term "Canaanite" is used here by Matthew to indicate that this woman is an outsider -- a non-Jew. In the Old Testament, Canaanites were referred to as wicked and godless. "Sir, Son of David," the woman cries out to Jesus, "take pity on me. My daughter is tormented by a devil." Whereupon Jesus' disciples plead with Him, "Give her what she wants because she is shouting after us" (meaning, "She's one of those outsiders. Just give her what she wants, and we'll be rid of her").

The ensuing dialogue between Jesus and the woman includes the kind of wit (a duel of wits, really) that is much admired in the Near East. (Actually, the real flavor of the dialogue gets lost in translation). "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel," Jesus says. The woman kneels at His feet and replies, "Lord, help me." Jesus answers, "It is not fair to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs." The woman says, "Ah yes, sir, but even house [...]

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