We all have a share of humiliating experiences. When I was 16 years old, I experienced the biggest humiliation in my life. I was working back then when I was accused of stealing a huge amount of money. It was such a humiliating and painful experience. I almost lost my confidence and morale but I tried to redeem myself. I held on to hope because I believed that God knew the truth. After a week, the real culprit was caught. He confessed everything that had happened. Indeed, I said to myself: God is truly present in our midst.
Today’s Gospel tells the story of a Syrophoenician woman who begged Jesus to heal her demon-possessed daughter. However, Jesus’ treatment was quite unusual. At first glance, He seemed cruel to the woman. Being called a “dog” is humiliating! I can relate to this experience of the Syrophoenician woman. It is downright degrading and also unimaginable to hear this from someone like Jesus, known for spreading love, espousing respect and promoting one’s dignity. However, amidst this uncomfortable situation, the woman persisted and humbled herself. She knew in her heart that Jesus would never fail her. I realized that faith in God requires total submission of the self.
There will be times that I will face trials which could drag me to low points in my life. The Gospel teaches that faith is measured not by belief but also by our attitude towards the answers to our prayer. It is especially tested when our prayers seem being ignored or delayed and when God seems distant. Sometimes, God seems so silent only to find that He has been redeeming us in the process.
By: Sem. Niñonel Setosta
Jesus went to the district of Tyre.
He entered a house and wanted no one to know about it,
but he could not escape notice.
Soon a woman whose daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him.
She came and fell at his feet.
The woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth,
and she begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter.
He said to her, “Let the children be fed first.
For it is not right to take the food of the children
and throw it to the dogs.”
She replied and said to him,
“Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s scraps.”
Then he said to her, “For saying this, you may go.
The demon has gone out of your daughter.”
When the woman went home, she found the child lying in bed
and the demon gone.