Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, August 16, 2020
IS 56:1, 6-7 ROM 11:13-15, 29-32 MT 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!
A Story from Australia’s Outback in 1870
- Sr. Mary MacKillop-Founder of the Josephite Sisters
- Strong, truthful-advocate for her children
- Persecuted by the Church she loved
- One hundred and forty years later became a saint
Saint Mother Mary Mackillop and the Canaanite Woman
- The Canaanite woman-an outsider, a foreigner, non-Jewish
- Perhaps Jesus was having a really bad day
- He was not willing to help her with her struggling daughter
- Jesus ignored her-disciples wanted to push her off
- She was part of the throw-away people Pope Francis talked about
The Strength of the Canaanite Woman
- She was not going away without being heard and helped by Jesus
- Her dignity as a precious child of God deserved recognition
Jesus and His Cruel Remark to Woman’s Request
- Taking the food of children and giving it to dogs
- It is unimaginable to us
- St Augustine suggested he said this to draw her faith out as a witness to the disciples
- She had extraordinary faith
Sometimes We Forget
- Jesus was fully human
- He had to grow into an understanding of his mission given by his Father
- Jesus heart was in need of expansion
- Jesus says, “Take courage, it is I, don’t be afraid.”
My Heart-Your Heart
- Are our hearts in need of expansion?
- Do we write others off?
- Do we not want to give somebody the time of day?
- Do we find someone not worthy?
- How about the outsider, stranger, foreigner?
The Church and Women-We Must Grapple with Issue
- Do we lift up and affirm the gift of women?
- Do we raise women up to high leadership roles?
- How do young girls and women feel about the Catholic Church?
- Pope Francis – we must move forward with dignity and respect for all
Saint Mother Mary MacKillop of Australia, Pray for Us!
Questions for Reflection
- What impacted you from today’s Readings and/or homily?
- Is your heart in need of expansion?
- Is there someone you need to give the time of day?
- Prayerfully consider someone who you might intentionally need to give notice and time to in your life
- Make a plan in your week to reach out