In today’s Gospel, we hear a story of great grace and faith. The Canaanite woman, a foreigner, came to Jesus pleading with him to heal his daughter. Jesus at first did not seem interested in this foreigner. A very uncharacteristic action by him, the scriptures say he “did not answer her at all.” Now when you look at the historical setting of this story, you’ll see it wasn’t common for a Jewish man to speak to a Canaanite or pagan. They were seen as unclean and it was against the law to interact.
The strong faith of the woman would not allow her to stop pursuing Jesus, pursuing grace. Jesus then says one of the greatest lines in scripture “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” Only to be rebutted by the greatest comeback in scripture “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”
WOW! This Canaanite woman not only rebutted Jesus but to humble herself to the level of a dog? Now it’s true that Jesus was sent to care for the Israelites, the chosen people of God, but the food that Jesus puts on their table was meant to be shared with anyone who comes.
The gift of faith through the grace of the sacraments is not meant to be bottled up and hidden from the world. We should not boast and be prideful that we are God’s chosen people. Yes, Jesus did entrust us first with his body, blood, soul, and divinity, but it was never meant to stay on our tables only.
It is our responsibility to invite everyone to the table the master has set for us. It’s also important to remember to feed the dogs who faithfully lay at the master’s feet.