20th Sunday in Ordinary Time
In this Sunday’s readings, the coming of foreigners to the Temple in the first reading is taken up in the Gospel account (Matthew 15:21-28) of the coming of a Canaanite woman to Jesus. The Canaanite woman, was regarded as a ‘foreigner’ because she was of the pagan race. Although a pagan, she recognized Christ’s true identity – and she believed. Her faith in Jesus was expressed in the title ‘Lord’ with which she addressed Him. Our Lord tested her faith with a rather harsh parable: citing that the bread of salvation was only for God’s children, God’s chosen people, rather than for “pagan dogs”!. The woman’s quick response was a further expression of her great humility and faith, which Jesus publicly acknowledged: “Woman you have great faith”. Ironically the pagan woman gives us a model of faith; she knew she had no right to God’s gifts and mercy (v.27), and yet she asked Our Lord for them, not presumptuously, but with humility. We have much to learn from her, just as sometimes we can learn from others who may appear to have no faith.
God Bless Fr Michael