This Sunday's Gospel has the Canaanite woman begging Jesus to help her daughter who is tormented by a demon. Jesus does not pay attention so that his disciples need to ask him to send her away as she is crying out to them. Jesus says that he was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. But the woman said, "Lord, help me." Still, Jesus does not seem ready to do this. He tells her: "It is not right to take the food of children and throw it to the dogs." That should have silenced the poor woman, but she is humbly pleading for her daughter's sake and says: "Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters." The Jesus praises her for her faith and tells her: "Let it be done as you wish." And the Gospel tells us that her daughter was healed from that hour.
Now this Gospel is certainly a call to persevere in prayer. Sometimes we pray for someone, but do we have persistence?
Do we have the faith of that woman? Jesus will hear us when we persist in begging him with the faith and humility of that pagan woman. How humble she was!
We have a prayer board outside the Chapel; I read the requests, but do I really pray with faith for the healing asked for by so many of our friends?