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 he did not say a word in answer to her.
His 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 him 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.
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 her daughter was healed from that hour.
— Matthew 15:21-28
The peace of the Lord be with you. Today’s Gospel reading is a great study for perseverance in prayer. Initially, it looks like Jesus will not respond to the woman’s request for healing because she is outside the twelve tribes of Israel. The turning point is when she gives homage to Jesus — somehow she begins to recognize that there is something of the divine about this man to whom she’s making her request. Not only does she recognize the divine in Jesus, but she also recognizes and believes in the mercy of God. Because God lives outside of time and space there is very often lag between our request and the time that God answers our prayers. This Canaanite woman today gives us a model to follow when it appears our request is not going to get answered — we must remain faithful in our hearts and trust in the ever present mercy of God.
Dear Heavenly Father, help me to remember today that you know my needs — before I even know them, and before I speak them. Help me to recognize and remember that in your great generosity, in the fullness of time, my prayer will be answered according to your most holy and loving will. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.