A Daily Gospel Reflection by Dn. Carlos Porras Jr. for August 9th, 2023

The Gospel, according to Matthew (15:21-28)

At that time Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and 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. His disciples came and asked him, “Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.” He said in reply, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But the woman came and did him homage, saying, “Lord, help me.” He said in reply, “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.” Then Jesus said to her in reply, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed from that hour.

REFLECTION I don’t know about you, but to me. it’s interesting how at first, Jesus remained silent at the women’s plead to heal her daughter. His disciples even wanted her to stop bothering them and Him, but Jesus Himself eventually responded to her stating that His mission during His public ministry was to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel,” meaning to the Jews. Of course, later Jesus would expand His mission entrusted to the Apostles to include the Gentiles. But at first, Jesus’ mission was to the descendants of Abraham.   As we read this story today, it is clear that it was by God’s providence that this woman came to Jesus as she did. The Father drew her to Him, and Jesus participated in this communication, not to be rude or dismissive but to allow her to manifest a faith that was clearly lacking in the lives of many.   In our lives, at times God seems silent. But if He is silent, we must know that it is for good reason. God never ignores us; rather, His silence is a way of drawing us even closer to Himself than if He were to respond immediately “loud and clear,” so to speak. Silence from God is not necessarily a sign of His disapproval. It’s often a sign of His purifying action drawing us to a much fuller manifestation of our faith.   As for the Gentile woman, unlike many of the Jews, she manifested a faith in the fact that Jesus was the Messiah. This is obvious by her calling Him “Son of David.” Her trust in Jesus’ ability to heal her daughter was expressed in very simple and clear words. She didn’t need to present herself as worthy of His help, because her trust in Him was all that was needed.   Furthermore, she persevered in her prayer. First, Jesus is silent. Then, His disciples try to dismiss her. And then, Jesus gives the appearance of refusing her request. All this resulted, not in her discouragement but gained perseverance and hope. And that hope was also extraordinarily humble. Jesus’ goal of allowing her to deepen her faith and manifesting it for all to see was accomplished.    

ACTION FOR THE DAY Reflect, today, upon the qualities of this woman’s prayer: First, we must try to imitate her by first acknowledging the truth of Who Jesus is. He is the Messiah, the Son of David, the Savior of the World, God Incarnate and so much more. Calling Jesus’ identity to mind is a wonderful way to begin to pray.  

Then, we should make our prayer simple, clear, and humble. Don’t ask for what we want, but rather, for our needs. What do you need from the Savior of the World?  

Lastly, we must persevere. Do not get discouraged in prayer. Be fervent, relentless, and firm. Be humble before the almighty power and mercy of God and do so without ceasing and God will always answer our prayer in accord with His holy will.


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