Gospel 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 Jesus did not say a word in answer to her.
Jesus' 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 Jesus 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 the woman's daughter was healed from that hour."
+Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of the faithful and kindle in them, the fire of your love. Come Holy Spirit, I love you, Come Holy Spirit, I need you, Come Holy Spirit, fill me with your Truth and your Love, I promise to be submissive to your voice and promptings. Amen
Quiet your heart and sit alone somewhere so that you can just be with Jesus. Bring all that is surfacing in your heart to Jesus, maybe even write it down if that helps you to 'name it and release it' into his hands. Now slowly read this Gospel passage several times and listen not with just with your mind but listen deeply with your heart.
For the purpose of this Lectio we will ponder the 'two comings.' "A Canaanite woman of that district came and called out; "Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David!" and then shortly after... "But the woman came and did Jesus homage, saying, "Lord, help me." These two brief sentences hold such profound meaning. Let us ponder them. In the first 'coming' the Canaanite woman 'comes' and 'calls out' "Have Pity on me Lord, Son of David!" She comes, but she seems at a distance, and therefore she 'calls out', "Lord Son of David." There is a recognition of our Lords' human lineage and also a recognition of something utterly different in this man. But she keeps her distance not confident to approach or perhaps not feeling worthy to approach. In this 'second coming' we observe a different' interior posture', one of faith, humility and surrender. Let us listen: "But the woman came and did Jesus homage, saying, "Lord help me." This time when she 'comes' she is coming closer than she was before and doing homage; that interior disposition is now abased, humbled in His sight, she is not longer noticing human lineage , but is calling upon Him solely as "Lord" as Master and in doing so, she is paying him homage, recognizing a different Truth, His Kingship. His Lordship over her. She is no longer just asking for mercy/pity, but now she is seeking help. She recognizes that both 'are present here for the taking' so to speak, and she takes courage and asks Jesus for help! What makes her brave this time? In my heart, it seems, that she came close enough this time to look into his eyes and to see herself in his eyes. She can see the tenderness, Love, and Light pouring out of them as He gazes upon her. She learns something, that she couldn't learn at a distance. In my heart it seems she is confirmed in his love, that is why, she can 'push the line', she knows she is loved. Listen to her final words, they are beautiful because they are so 'raw and real.' "Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters." She is surrendered, she is begging, she is expectant it seems (she is leaning into this request) and in her humility she is audacious! She is surrendered to receive whatever He chooses to give, claiming her right, as dependent upon him, as the dogs are dependent upon their masters. Placing herself on a low level, she obtains all she desires and she hears such beautiful words: "O woman, great is your faith, let it be down for you as you wish."
Points to Ponder: Do I believe in His love for me? Do I come to Him, in the Sacrament of Reconciliation humbling myself seeking His Grace and His Love? Do I pray for the grace to cooperate with his grace?
"Bring all you are suffering to His feet and open your heart to be loved by Him as you are, He will do the rest." (St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
"For those who are loved, enter fearlessly the heart of their lover" (St. John Chrysostom)