The Gospel today Jesus is acting very contrary to norm with the woman who comes to him hoping to have him heal her daughter. First he treats her as if she does not exist. Than as if she is dirt because she Canaanite. And finally dismisses her because he came for the lost sheep of Israel, not for the likes of her! Where is the compassionate Jesus? Where is the Jesus we all know and love?
All this week we have been looking at the Bred of Life Discourse and this does not seem to fit at all; or does it?
I have heard homilies that suggest that in this Gospel Jesus is trying to bring out the faith this pagan woman has for/in him, to show the disciples that he has come for everyone, but I don’t buy that. Jesus isn’t pulling anything of this woman, she is standing on her own two feet and demanding it!
Yes I said demanding. After being rebuffed three times, interesting Peter denies Jesus three times, she will not take it anymore, she is done being the good girl! She must have stood before Jesus with flashing eyes saying to herself: “Oh no he didn’t!”
Like this mother there are times when we must demand what is rightly ours. Just like this mom we have to know what it is we are fighting for and go after it, again, and again, and again; without backing down or turning away. She tells Jesus exactly what she needs, she has a purpose in mind: Heal my daughter. In our baptismal roles of priest, prophet and queen we must be strong enough to stand up for those under our care, for our convictions, for our responsibility; nothing can stand in our way. And just like this mom we will be rewarded for our efforts.