TwentiethSunday in Ordinary Time

The prayer of the Canaanite woman

Then Jesus went from that place and withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman …called out, “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon.” But he did not say a word in answer to her. His disciples came and asked him, “Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.” He said in reply, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But the woman came and did him homage, saying, “Lord, help me.” He said in reply, “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.” Then Jesus said to her in reply, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed from that hour. Mt 15,21-28

The today’s Gospel shows us Jesus initially deaf, almost disturbed by the request of the canaanite woman. We have to understand him, he was just “started from there” to keep the distance from a discussion with the scribes and the pharisees, in which he fought the formal aspects of the judaism and he thinks to be faced by a woman with whom he immagines to have to fight the miraculoustic aspects of the faith. Jesus refuses both an habitual faith as that of the scribes and the pharisees, reduced to a mere formality, and a faith which consists only of intercession prayers to resolve, as by magic, the daily problems. Two are the risks which also jeopardize this our prayer of the morning: the first is to become a tired and routinely prayer, the second is to become primarily a prayer for requests, to solve the remaining problems of the previous day before tackling those of the day. We must, on the contrary, raise urgently the “prayer of praise”, the one preferred by the mama, as an introduction to our daily commitment to her project. We will discover, then, as it has happened to this canaanite woman, an enthusiast Lord to satisfy our daily prayers and to collaborate with us throughout the day. There is in fact, between the prayer of praise and the realization of her project, a so closely relationship such that it is not possible to distinguish where the one ends and the other begins. At a certain point, everything becomes praise and everything becomes project, by the same way as, in a family where the all of us love each other, every act becomes a manifestation of love and service. Let’s us begin, then, to dust off that song we sang years ago, which is composed only by few words, “Jesus is the Lord” and let’s repeat it many times, until this concept has not completely permeate our minds and our hearts.

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