Wednesday of the Eighteenth week in Ordinary Time
The power of persevering prayer
When one might have expected she would depart in utter despair, at that very moment the Canaanite woman drew nearer and worshiped, saying, "Lord, help me!"... “What is this, O woman? Did you not hear him saying: ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel’?” "I heard," she says, "but he is the Lord himself…"
This was Christ's intent in putting her off, for he knew she would say this; this is the reason he denied her wish, that she might exhibit her deep faith... So his words were not spoken in insult, but to call forth and reveal the treasure laid up within her.
But I ask you: together with her faith, see also her humility. For he had called the Jews "children," but she was not satisfied with this, but called them "masters;" so far was she from grieving at the praises of others. "The dogs also," she says, "eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters."... And for this she became a child. What then does Christ say? "O woman, great is your faith." This is the reason he forestalled her, that he might praise her faith aloud, that he might crown this woman by saying: "Let it be done for you as you wish."... Do you see how this woman contributed not a little to the healing of her daughter? For Christ did not say, "Let your little daughter be healed," but, "Great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish."... Mark how, where the apostles had failed and had not gained anything, this woman had success. So great a thing is perseverance in prayer.