Serving the Catholic Communities of Elizabethtown, Eldorado and Harrisburg Illinois

The Cannanite Woman - What a Great Faith

Naturally, whenever the desired attention is not given to us especially when we are in a desperate situation, we feel neglected, dejected, rejected, and repudiated.   Imagine, you need a help, and here is the right person that has all the power and all it takes to help you and it will cause him/her absolutely nothing to help you, yet, you are ignored.  How will you feel?

Something very unusual has happened!  Imagine Jesus pretending as if he did not hear or see one of those for whom he came into this world.  When we hear this  scripture passage and think of how Jesus treated this woman, we can’t help but wonder why?  It seems very uncharacteristic of Jesus.  If actually he was going give this woman what she wanted, (to deliver her daughter from the demon), why put her through such a test and make it seem like he wasn’t going to do anything for her?

She 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.  Some suggest that it was to make her faith stronger.  I believe a better explanation is that he wanted his disciples and us and everyone who would hear about this incident to see her great faith.     If Jesus had granted her request immediately, her faith would not have been evident to others.

She did not give in to the temptation that Jesus was probably ignoring her because she was a Canaanite and not a Jew.  She did not give in to temptation to think that Jesus isn’t powerful or loving enough to help her.  She did not give in to temptation to think that she needs to do something to earn his favor.

From this woman we can learn that great faith addresses Jesus as Savior, (in times of sickness, pains, difficulties, sorrow, anxiety, confusion, trials and tribulations) great faith is persistent in prayer, great faith is to trust Jesus’ word, great faith is not distracted by discouragement, great faith is patient in affliction, great faith is hoping against hope, and great faith is the refusal to quit.  Don’t give up!

Look at this woman, she did not doubt Jesus, for as soon as Jesus promised her faith and said, “Your request is granted” she left for home.  She didn’t hesitate at all.  She didn’t ask, “But how do I know my daughter is whole and the demon is gone?  Jesus never personally met her daughter.  He did not touch her.  And Matthew reminds us that her faith was not disappointed.

Sometimes, the Lord might decide to say “yes” to us  immediately, and some other time he might decide to say to us; my son, my daughter, “wait yet.”

Hey, hang in there!

Fr. Abraham

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