Fr. Nnamdi Moneme: Why Our Perseverance Impresses Jesus Most

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By Fr. Nnamdi Moneme, OMV, Catholic Exchange, August 19, 2020

The Gospel account of the Canaanite woman in Mt 15:21-28 gives us hope that we can actually impress Jesus and do something to merit His praise and commendation.

Jesus is not impressed with the fact that she is a Gentile woman who is courageous enough to come into Jewish territory to ask Him, a Jew, to deliver her daughter from a demon. He is also not impressed with what she says to Him, calling Him “Lord,” and even giving Him the messianic title, “Son of David.” He is not impressed with how, despite the rebuke of the disciples, “Send her away, she keeps calling out after us,” she still reverences Him, “But the woman came and did Him homage.” Neither her status, nor her origin, nor her words, nor her reverent actions visibly impressed Jesus.

It was her humble perseverance in asking Him that impressed Jesus the most. In response to Jesus’ initial dismissive response to her request, “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs, ” she responded with a truly self-effacing humble persistence, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.” Her response impressed Jesus so much and merited Him praising her, “O woman, great is your faith.” It also merited her heart’s desire, “Let it be done for you as you wish.”  …

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