From there he set out and went away to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there. Yet he could not escape notice, but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet.
Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. He said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” But she answered him, “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” Then he said to her, “For saying that, you may go—the demon has left your daughter.” So she went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Using your imagination – you can see Jesus in this house where he’s gone for a little escape. But even here in Tyre, land of Gentiles, his fame draws people to him. The Syrophoenician woman who enters is daring. She dares to be alone with Jesus, a Jew and a man. She dares to ask him for help when he has hidden himself away. And she is the only person we know of who wins an argument with him. Jesus is surprised, impressed. Perhaps he laughs with pleasure at her repartee. But her focus is on her daughter, and Jesus heals the child.
Place yourself in the scene, in all its vivid detail. Perhaps you take the place of the woman, asking Jesus for your deepest desire. How does he respond?
Spend a few moments in conversation with Jesus – listening as well as talking.
—Catherine Heinhold is the Pastoral Assistant for Ignatian Programming at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Washington, D.C. where she facilitates prayer programs and the Young Adult Community.
Lord, help me to see where I can be more daring in my faith – and where I might need to be open to changing my mind. Amen.