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Sunday’s Gospel is often misunderstood. Jesus is not saying the woman is a dog; he is trying to explain that she is not a person who was raised in faith and yet she shows great faith. To some, she was invisible. The woman is persistent and faithful; two things we are reminded to be.
The woman’s words, “Lord, help me,” remind me of Peter’s words in last Sunday’s Gospel. When he stepped out of the boat to walk on the storm-tossed water toward Jesus, Peter became frightened and began to sink. He cried out, “Lord, save me!”
We might expect that Peter would have greater faith in Jesus than a Canaanite woman who is neither a Jew nor a close friend or follower of Jesus. Yet Peter’s faith falters, leading Jesus to say, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” In contrast, Jesus is surprised to find a woman of such great faith where he didn’t expect it. In both cases, Jesus acts immediately to help and save.
Whether our reaction in troubled times is more like Peter’s or the Canaanite woman’s, we can trust Jesus to respond immediately to our cry for help. The important thing is remembering to call on Jesus with trust in his faithfulness.
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