Wednesday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Jer 31:1-7; Jer 31:10,11,12ab,13; Mt 15:21-28


The Prophet Jeremiah makes outrageous claims.  His prophecy seems like a taunt to broken Israel and scattered Jacob.  Yet, the LORD announces his hessed, his faithful love, “I will be the God of all the tribes of Israel, and they shall be my people.”  To a people that escaped the sword and found God’s favor in the desert, this is too good to be true.  Yet, the LORD summons his people to rest in the security of his faithfulness.  Though his people have for generations turned away from him, the LORD loves his people with an age-old love and with great emmet, tender mercy.  Israel will again be restored and rebuilt.  Again she will be called “Virgin.”  Again she will carry festive tambourines and go forth dancing with merrymakers.  This loved people will plant vineyards and enjoy their fruits.  The watchmen will cry out, “Rise up, let us go to Zion, to the LORD, our God.”  This is the unspeakable joy of all who are healed from the sadness of suffering and the tragedy of sin.  If unfaithful Israel will bask in such jubilation, should not every other nation take courage and trust in the LORD?  No wonder the Cannanite woman had courage and spoke up in faith for her daughter!


It is nothing less than a fierce faith that the Lord Jesus witnessed in the Canaanite woman.  She trusted in the Lord Jesus and in his power to save her daughter who was tormented by a demon.  This foreign woman responded with such great faith to the presence of the Lord Jesus that her story is remembered in every generation of believers; this is not unlike the woman who anointed the Lord Jesus shortly before his crucifixion.  This Canaanite woman believed that the Lord Jesus had come to set everyone free from the grip and power of demons.  She had more faith in the Lord than did those who had been rescued from the grip of Pharaoh and his might.  She had more faith in the Lord than did those who followed him as disciples.  They just wanted the Lord Jesus to shut her up.  He allowed her to speak, and the Lord listened intently to her motherly plea.  Her faith impressed the Lord Jesus so much, that in the presence of his less than faith-filled disciples; he praised her.  “She said, ‘Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.’”  This was all that the Lord needed to hear.  This is all we need to hear.  The Lord Jesus remembers us whenever we cry out, “Lord, help me.”  The Lord Jesus remembers us even when we forget his great love and rescue in Baptism and in all his wondrous sacraments.