Matthew 15:21-28

A foreign mother (not an Israelite) asks Jesus to heal her daughter.

At first Jesus does not answer her and twice more he refused, but in the end she obtains the miracle because of her humble and persistent faith.

Jesus goes beyond the frontiers of the national territory and welcomes a foreign woman who was from another race and religion. She begins to beg for the healing of her daughter who was possessed by an unclean spirit. The woman shouts, but Jesus does not respond. Why? His silence is connected with an awareness of his mission and his fidelity to the law of God: “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel“.

The woman was persistent in her request and refused to be dismissed. Neither religious rules or the reactions of others would stand in the way of the love of a mother for her sick daughter.  She draws closer, she throws herself at Jesus’ feet and goes on begging, “Lord, help me”. Jesus answers with a parable taken from everyday life. It is not right to take the bread of one’s children and give it to dogs. The woman will not yield. She agrees with Jesus, but she amplifies the parallel and applies it to her case, “Ah, yes, sir; but even house-dogs can eat the scraps that fall from their master’s table“. Jesus did not intend to cure the girl, but when he saw the faith of the mother, he saw things differently and did something he did not intend to do: “Woman, you have great faith!”

The meeting with the Canaanite woman freed him from the racial prison and opened him to the whole of humanity.

Jesus discovered the will of the Father.