The Canaanite woman from today’s Gospel is a role model for all of us. She takes the path less traveled when she comes to Jesus, challenging him. Jesus excludes her by saying he has come for the lost sheep of Israel but she does not waver. She kneels before him in Matthew’s Gospel, asking for help. His response is that it is unfair to throw the children’s food to the dogs. She does not leave it there but with remarkable courage and insight she agrees with this rider: Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table. The Christ answers her with Woman, great is your faith!
Often, we find it hard to muster up the courage we need to do the hard thing. For many women in particular, we struggle to speak up or speak out against the unfairness of a situation because we do not believe we are worth it. We keep silent or later moan about the situation to a friend. We do not find our voice at the right moment. This woman, however, does and Jesus marvels at her faith but I wonder if he also celebrated that she had enough self-esteem and determination to ask boldly for what she needed for her daughter. We need great faith in a God who loves us even when we do not see our own worthiness. Great faith must step forward when we are at our wit’s end in trying to change something. We do not need much faith, just a wee crumb and the walls that oppress us can come crumbling down.
When was the last time you needed to find your voice and challenge someone?
What would a crumb look like for you in a tough situation?
May my faith be great!
Throw me some crumbs
so that I may speak out until
the walls of oppression crumble.
Show me you are the God that feeds
Until we are full and in need no more.