Our scripture this week is Matthew 15:21-28.
Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.” Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.
The Canaanite woman has the best reason in the world to approach Jesus – a demon has possessed her daughter. She is aware that Jesus has healed others who have been afflicted in this way and like any good parent she is willing to seek any source of relief for her child. She calls to Him without any shame or concern for their political differences. She even uses His royal title, Son of David.
Jesus recognizes her love for her child and while she might not yet be a believer, she at least believes Jesus has the power to heal. She is willing to risk the anger of those around Him and the possibility of rejection by her own people in order to save her daughter. The love of a parent for their child is one of the strongest bonds in all of creation.
God knows this love, both for Jesus the Son and for all of us as His children, and He is always ready to do what is needed for us. In the same way God works through Jesus, He works in us. We are called to His healing work in the world, to reach all our brothers and sisters with His love.
Wise and wonderful God, You put Your love into us from the very beginning. Help us to show this love to all Your children, wherever they are and whatever their situation. Amen.