Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from the area, came and cried out, “Lord, Son of David, have pity on me! My daughter is tormented by a demon.” But Jesus did not answer her, not even a word. So his disciples approached him and said, “Send her away! See how she is shouting after us.” Then Jesus said to her, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the nation of Israel.” But the woman was already kneeling before Jesus, and said, “Sir, help me!” Jesus answered, “It is not right to take the bread from the children and throw it to puppies.” The woman replied, “That is true, sir, but even puppies eat the crumbs which fall from their master’s table.” Then Jesus said, “Woman, how great is your faith! Let it be as you wish.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.
The Israelites are the chosen people who first received God’s revelation so that those who do not belong to their race such as the Gentiles, were considered as impure or unclean people. They even called the Gentiles dogs which also represent the unclean animals. The woman in the gospel who is a Canaanite is a gentile and was treated like a dog by the Israelites that is unworthy of God’s salvation. However, despite being a gentile, her faith was extraordinary and even far better than some Jews who did not believe in Jesus. Jesus was amazed by such faith which led Him to grant her request of healing her daughter. Here, we can see that she is indeed a good mother who wishes for the well-being of her children. Jesus revealed in this incident that salvation is not exclusive but inclusive wherein it is not only given for the Israelites but even for the Gentiles which later on would be fulfilled. May we have such great faith like the Canaanite woman who approached Jesus with all humility, courage and even persistence to ask for healing and salvation. /Vulnerasti, 2022