- Sunday of the Canaanite Woman
“Today’s Gospel teaches us the power of prayer. The Canaanite woman, despise her ethnic background and relationship with the Jewish tradition, teaches us indeed how to prey and more importantly how to make our prayer heard by God. We see that the Lord does not answer her, not because He disdains her, but because He is fulfilling the Law; moreover, He thus shows that He was come especially for the Jews. He thereby prevented them from making the slanderous accusation that He did good for the Gentiles and violated the Law. At the same time He wished to demonstrate the woman’s constant and persevering faith and her great patience.
Prayer is a medicine; however, if we do not know how to apply the medicine, we shall never derive any benefit from it. I beseech all the faithful who wish to be saved: Never neglect the rule of prayer. Whether, therefore, you eat, or drink, or work, or travel, or stand, or sit, or whatsoever you do let each of you unceasingly call out: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me. As the Apostle says, Pray without ceasing. And our Lord says, Watch and pray at all times.
Saint John Chrysostom speaks about seven things that can hinder our prayer from being heard and fulfilled.
1) When we pray, our prayers will be answered if, first of all, we are fit to receive (our object);
2) if the prayer is in accordance with divine laws;
3) if we pray frequently;
4) if we do not ask for anything worldly;
5) if we offer up all that is ours
6) if we ask for what is beneficial
7) prayer while remaining in sin
Those who pray in such a way are herd, whereas without these things even the prayers of the holy and righteous are not heard. (Saint John Chrysostom)
BRETHREN, you are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will live in them and move among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore come out from them, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch nothing unclean; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
The Gospel reading is from Matthew 15:21-28
At that time, Jesus went to the district of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and cried, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely possessed by a demon.” But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” And he answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly. read more >