Great is Your Faith
Have you ever asked yourself, “Am I a good Christian?” There are many ways to test oneself. What is, for example, your attitude towards others? What is your attitude towards Jesus in this particular Gospel story? According to you, was he impolite and rude towards the woman?
Today’s Gospel narrates Jesus’ encounter with a pagan woman. She was rejected by Jesus’ contemporaries because she was a pagan, and she was a woman. To her cry, “Son of David, take pity on me,” Jesus seems to turn a deaf ear. But his silence made her cry to him all the more loudly. Even at Jesus’ humiliating response, comparing the help she sought to the food of children being thrown to dogs, implying that she was no better than a dog. She begs for only scraps from the table, like a dog does. She does not give up begging, for “she has great faith.”
- The pagan woman of the Gospel is a model of faith. Her faith led her to Jesus. She calls him, “Son of David,” a title reserved only for Jesus.
- This woman is a model of perseverance. She prays persistently. Nothing could discourage her. Neither the rudeness, nor the refusal of Jesus. He was her only hope.
- This woman has above all love. Her unconditional love for Jesus moved him, and he worked wonders for her. We learn that there is nothing nearer and dearer to God than love.
And Jesus teaches us today that:
- We should not give up, even if our prayer is not answered.
- God wills the best for us, even if he puts us to the test.
- Our prayer to God should not be a demand, but a humble request.
Today’s Gospel is a beautiful illustration of the non-sectarian character of the Church and its universality. All are invited to God’s kingdom. God excludes nobody from the abundance of his love. It is not what we profess that makes us real Christians, but the way we live our faith. Our faith must shine in such a way that others might see the light, and through us realize that the Church is for all.