In the context of the Jewish society during Jesus’ time, dogs were not domesticated as
pets but are scavengers on the streets. That is why referring to people as dogs was a grave insult. The woman who hails from Syrophoenicia, a place in Greece, knows that most of her people are pagans. By that, no matter how painful it is for her, she acknowledged the lowliness of her kind being like dogs before the God of Israel. Despite this, she persistently continued her plea to Jesus for the healing of her daughter and with her humility and faith, her daughter was healed.
Many times we find it hard to be at home with our humanity with all its frailty and
shortcomings because of our egos. We find it hard to accept our weaknesses and flaws. The Gospel today invites us to comfortably embrace our humanity; to accept that we are unworthy of all the graces that God bestows upon us and the overflowing mercy that He shows to us. Let us pray that like the Syrophoenician woman, may God touch our lives to heal us and our loved ones as well, from pain.
By Sem. John Paul Toting
THE GOSPEL TODAY
Jesus went to the district of Tyre.
He entered a house and wanted no one to know about it,
but he could not escape notice.
Soon a woman whose daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him.
She came and fell at his feet.
The woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth,
and she begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter.
He said to her, “Let the children be fed first.
For it is not right to take the food of the children
and throw it to the dogs.”
She replied and said to him,
“Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s scraps.”
Then he said to her, “For saying this, you may go.
The demon has gone out of your daughter.”
When the woman went home, she found the child lying in bed
and the demon gone.