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The gospel reading today gives us an insight into a mother’s instinct to leave no stone unturned when the well-being of her child is at stake. Jesus was in Tyre, a predominantly pagan city. The reference to Jesus going into a house and not wanting anyone to know he was there suggests that he may have been seeking some time away on his own. A pagan woman burst into the house and threw herself at Jesus’ feet, begging him to heal her daughter. The reputation of this Jewish prophet must have reached the ears of this pagan woman. Having somehow come to hear that Jesus was in Tyre, she wasn’t going to miss her opportunity. Jesus appeared to give her short shrift, ‘the children should be fed first’ (the people of Israel), certainly before the house dogs (the pagans). Yet, the woman’s determination that Jesus should heal her daughter was in no way deflected. With both humility and humour she retorted that the house dogs and the children can eat quite happily together. Jesus was disarmed. He recognized her strong faith and declared there and then that her daughter was healed. Our faith can be put to the test when the Lord does not appear to hear our prayer. At such times we need to be as tenacious in our faith as the Syrophoenician woman was.Blessed day.

By Fr Dismas Kuto


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