Gospel Reflections

20th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Matthew 15:21-28

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Lucy Musembi

Published: August 20, 2017


Reflecting on the Gospel, we see the presence of demons and evidence destruction through their possession of individuals. We seek the help of God to free people from evil influences. We are called to share in the experience of this Canaanite woman, who is filled with love and compassion for her daughter and wants Jesus to intervene through healing from demonic possession.

Most times when we are faced with great pain and experience suffering, like the experience of the Canaanite woman and her daughter, then we certainly turn to Jesus. At that time, our entire faith journey comes to our aid. The faith of this Canaanite woman helped the healing of her daughter.  We ask the question to our brothers and sisters, if their faith is strong and will  even amaze Jesus, as that of the Canaanite woman!

There are four characteristic attributes of both Jesus and the Canaanite woman in which we are also called to participate.  The first one is Love. The woman’s love for her daughter encouraged her to search for healing, and led her to Jesus. Such is the love we need to show our brothers and sisters, and the society at large.

The second is Patience. Even after being ignored, the woman persistently follows Jesus.  This draws the attention of the disciples and Jesus. The Kingdom of God is not for those who give up on the way. Are we giving up when people around us really need us and depend on our struggles for their healing and salvation?

The third is Compassion. Jesus filled with compassion and amazed with the faith of this woman, heals her daughter. Jesus extends his compassion even to the strangers.  We also should reach out to all people in need by showing our compassion.

The fourth is Mercy. Jesus does not fail to show his loving mercy to those in bondage. The daughter of the Canaanite woman, suffereing under the power of the demons, receives the extension of Jesus’ mercy and compassion. He releases her from the demons and sets her free.  He is a merciful Lord, who feels with others and with us!

This Gospel therefore calls us to be strong in our journey of faith, to persist in our quest for healing and for the Kingdom, to love and show compassion to those who live with us and around us, and to be merciful to one another. We will realize all these when we walk in a journey of faith like the Canaanite woman.  Her journey yielded a positive outcome. Her faith amazed Jesus; our own faith will amaze everyone around us.

Let us ask the Lord to increase our faith, so as to gain strength when we are weak, gain hope when we are hopeless, and receive healing when we experience this need.

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