Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Bulletin Date: 
Sunday, August 20, 2017

Jesus Our Hope

Many of the early Church Fathers see the Gentile woman as a type for all the Gentile people. As such she was a commendable representative for she humbled herself. In contrast many Israelites responded to Jesus in pride, boasting, “Are we not Abraham’s seed?” She believed and exercised her faith when many Israelites doubted and rejected Jesus’ authority. She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs.” So Jesus granted her desire.

Her obedience of faith, and Jesus’ granting of her request presages the engrafting of the Gentiles, by faith, into the promises given to his chosen people, Israel. This access to the Father through faith in Christ also keeps open the door of salvation for a nation that previously rejected Jesus.

What hope this story should bring to us who feel that we have so little to offer. This woman had little going for her. She was a Gentile Canaanite woman coming from a territory that Jesus had warned his disciples to avoid, and to not engage these people in conversation. She seemed to have a pretty hopeless situation, a daughter possessed by a demon. In addition she was asking Jesus to interrupt his plan to help her.

Hopeless? It certainly seemed that way. But that is where we find hope. When she turned to Jesus she found mercy and grace both for herself and for her daughter. There is no person so unworthy that Jesus will ignore their humble request for help, not any situation so hopeless that Jesus cannot turn it completely around. But it takes the faith to ask for his help. God Bless! Fr. Elmer