Matthew 15:21-28 Have Pity On Me Lord
“The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.” The Lord keeps his promises. He came into the world to cure the sick. That is, those who did not know Him, love Him or even desire Him. For this reason, his initial response to the Canaanite woman is surprising. We can even say, alarming.
Have pity on me Lord
“Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David.” How can someone not show mercy or compassion towards someone who is suffering? Only a person with an old, ice-cold heart could possibly turn someone away. But this time it is Jesus that is turning someone away whose daughter is tormented by a demon. We all know how easy it is to not get involved – to assume someone else will take care of it; to turn away; to look the other way, to remain silent. “The Lord did not say a word in answer to her.”
Send her away!
“I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” This is true. “At that time, says the Lord, I will be the God of all the tribes of Israel, and they shall be my people” (Jeremiah 31:1). But something happened along the way from heaven to earth. The “Son of David” became the “Lord of all!” Love surpasses justice. Faith trumps race. Mercy, compassion, forgiveness reach the sinner! Instead of sending her away empty handed or with what she wanted, the Lord loved her even more. He tested her faith just as he had done with the Apostles, the rich young man and the adulterous woman. Instead of sending her away, he sent her towards The Way. “The woman came to Him and did him homage.”
Great is Your Faith!
The Canaanite woman is asking for the impossible, that the Son of David would help her. She is treated like a dog! But instead of running away, like a dog, whose master throws a fit, she bows down before him and begs for the fallen scraps. She is a woman of great faith. She does not bow down to offense, or turn around and walk away. She turns the other cheek. She bears the infirmities of the world to cure the infirmity her daughter bears, for she loves her more than the world! She will not allow her daughter to suffer any longer. She will suffer for her. She is a woman on a mission and she would prefer to die for her daughter rather than return empty handed to her dying daughter. Jesus perfectly understands this woman. She is living what he is living! The Canaanite is experiencing what the Lord asks from us: purification, conversion and imitation.
Lord, help me!
Heavenly Father, Lord of all creation, we ask you to increase our faith in your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, who came into the world to humble the arrogant, convert the sinner, and recreate the face of the earth. Make our hearts more like his! Grant us the grace to never bow down to hatred but to bend our knees and raise our arms to cure the sick, lift up the sinner and reach the ends of the earth. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.