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Wednesday of The Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Then Jesus said to her in reply, "O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish." And her daughter was healed from that hour. (From Matthew 15:21-28)

If you read the entire Gospel selection for today’s Mass, you will, no doubt, find this exchange between Jesus and the woman to seem a little odd. "It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs," he says to her. (Mt. 15:26) It sounds as if he is actually insulting her. This, however, was no insult. This is all about persistence. Jesus playfully acknowledges in this woman, whose daughter was ill, her blind trust in his ability to help her. She was also someone frowned upon by others, even the disciples, because she was not of their faith or culture. By acknowledging her genuineness, Jesus shows them that sincerity of heart is all that is asked of us. Regardless of one’s background or personal history, Jesus welcomes and will change the hearts of anyone who sincerely desires such a change.

Personally, I am challenged by this dialogue in 2 ways. The first is a reminder to be honest with myself whenever I am tempted to judge someone else, especially by their outward appearance or background. The second is the necessity to retain the blind innocence that is required, the vulnerability that is necessary to allow Christ to genuinely and continually transform my life. If I lose this, if we lose this, then we’ve lost so much.