Today’s Gospel is one that causes a lot of us to scratch our heads.
We read it and then the first thing that pops up in our minds is “Why is Jesus being mean to this woman?” as he answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
But the historical context allows us to understand this scene a little clearer. Jesus’s mission was to bring the message of salvation to the Jews first. The homilist says that God’s plan salvation had to start somewhere and it was not likely he would try to covert the whole world as a mere man. And so his focus was to start with the chosen people of God.
In Mark’s translation of the Gospel, Jesus says “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.”
So it wasn’t that he did not want to help the Cananite woman per se, but he had a priority of people to engage first. It was also probably a test of the woman’s faith.
The thing is, if we can get past that part of the passage, the clear message is to learn from the faith of this woman.
Through our lives, we will be tested, and if we have the humility to ask the Lord to help us, he will.
All we need is faith.