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Jeremiah 31:1-7
Jerermiah:31:10, 11-12 ab, 13
Matthew 15:21-28
Matthew˅s gospel recounts the unusual story of the Canaanite woman who de-
sires healing for her daughter and who is initially spurned by Jesus, because as a
non-Jew she is not part of his mission. Her faith is a remarkable counterpoint to
the lack of faith displayed by his own people, and convinces Jesus to heal her
How often have we discounted someone because they were different in some
way than we are? Perhaps they don˅t speak the way we do, or dress or behave
quite like we do. Perhaps they have an accent or come from another culture
which makes us uncomfortable. Perhaps they have some kind of a mental illness
which puts them outside of our definition of normalcy. Perhaps you yourself have
experienced someone discounting you or treating as somehow less because
there is something different about you?
Jesus was human, and a product of his Jewish culture rooted in a particular time
and place in history. At this point in the gospel, he believes that his mission must
be focused on God˅s Chosen People, the Jews. The Canaanite woman, through
her faith and her love, converts Jesus to a fuller vision of God˅s kingdom. She
brings Jesus to a new place of enlightenment and to a new understanding that
his mission is not only to lead the Jewish people to a deeper, fuller understanding
of their relationship with God and the path to eternal love, but also to lead people
outside Judaism into that same place of profound relationship with our loving
What an extraordinary thing to contemplate: even Jesus had to deepen his un-
derstanding that ˈAll Are Welcomeˉ in God˅s Kingdom! The lesson
can take
away from
lesson is how difficult it is for all of us to be truly welcoming to