Working with the Word

Focusing the Gospel

Key words and phrases:  tormented by a demon, Jesus did not say a word, keeps calling out, great is your faith, daughter was healed

To the point: The Canaanite woman in the gospel refuses to be rebuffed even by the exclusionary and harsh words of Jesus. Nothing gets in the way of her seeking healing for her daughter “tormented by a demon. The woman “keeps calling out” to Jesus because she wants him to remove the demon—to remove the evil that separates. Her great faith moves Jesus to grant her request. Faith, by nature, is persistent. Persistence, by nature, is single-minded. Single-mindedness, by nature, achieves the end it seeks. Like the woman in the gospel seeking healing for her daughter, our faith must be great enough to overcome barriers, must focus persistently on Jesus, and must bear the fruit of salvation and healing for others.

Connecting the Gospel …

… to the First Reading: What was for Isaiah a vision and future possibility—namely, all peoples will be drawn together in worship of God—is realized in the ministry of Jesus as a foreign woman comes with great faith to seek healing and offer him homage.

… to experience: All of us struggle with persistence—in prayer, in good works, with any spiritual discipline. The gospel woman reminds us that sometimes the sheer persistence can be the prayer, the good work, the spiritual discipline.

**From Saint Louis University

Kristin Clauson