Matthew 15:21–28 (NKJV, also appearing in Mark 7:24-30)
Jesus Heals the Gentile Woman’s Daughter
21 Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.”
23 But He answered her not a word.
And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.”
24 But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
25 Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”
26 But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”
27 And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”
28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
The story of this Canaanite woman’s persistent faith demonstrates the passion or determination that an individual may or should exhibit when approaching the Lord for a need. This woman’s daughter was demon-possessed and needed delliverance and healing. Jesus rebuffed her in increasingly forceful ways (ignored her, explained to her, nearly insulted her) but she would not be denied. She was Syro-Phoenician, a Gentile, not considered clean, but rather unworthy to speak to a Jewish religious leader. Jesus made this abundantly clear. However, He knew her heart. Her persistence proved her deep faith in Christ to heal her child, Jesus responded to her great faith, and her child was healed.
This story lets the reader know that persistence is a quality of faith that can help one achieve the desired result from God. Don’t give up in prayer. Persist, continue, pray on, but do not give up. God is looking for faith. Let Him see faith in you!
Artwork from: http://catholicbb.org/home/blog/entry/a-reflection-on-the-sunday-gospel-for-20th-sunday-ordinary-time-cycle-a-by-fr-isidore-clarke-op