Prayer: Almighty God, your Word is truth, give us truth today, in Christ. Amen.
Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost
22 Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon.”
When our family, especially children, are involved we feel their pain. Because we love them and care about them, when they hurt we hurt too. When your son or daughter slip and fall and skin a knee, or brake a bone, you feel it. You know how it feels because you have been there and done it too. We know the feelings. We don’t even need to have broken a bone to imagine the pain involved.
In today’s text, a mother felt the pain of her daughter, who was tormented by a demon. She was trying to find help for her daughter. She heard about Jesus healing power and came to see. She was a Canaanite and therefore a foreigner, but she believed in Jesus. She didn’t ask just for healing of her daughter, but she asked; “Have mercy on me.” She needed healing too because she shared the pain her daughter. The disciples wanted to send her away, but the woman persisted and Jesus relented.
28 Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed instantly.
Our devotion writer makes another argument for community involvement because when communities share pain there is pain for all, and sharing of healing for all.
Prayer: “God of healing, bring your grace and love on all who are in any need. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Things That Defile
10 Then he called the crowd to him and said to them, “Listen and understand: 11 it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles.” 12 Then the disciples approached and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard what you said?” 13 He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. 14 Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if one blind person guides another, both will fall into a pit.” 15 But Peter said to him, “Explain this parable to us.” 16 Then he said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth enters the stomach, and goes out into the sewer? 18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles. 19 For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile.”
The Canaanite Woman’s Faith
21 Jesus left that place and went away to the district of Tyre and Sidon. 22 Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon.” 23 But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, “Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 26 He answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” 27 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed instantly.