24 And from there he arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And he entered a house, and would not have any one know it; yet he could not be hid. 25 But immediately a woman, whose little daughter was possessed by an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell down at his feet. 26 Now the woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27 And he said to her, "Let the children first be fed, for it is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." 28 But she answered him, "Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs." 29 And he said to her, "For this saying you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter." 30 And she went home, and found the child lying in bed, and the demon gone.
Instead of getting into the dialogue between Jesus and this mother, it is important that we concentrate our energy towards the force behind her persistence. How she present herself before the Lord? Knowing well that the Lord is the only source of healing, there is a perfect nudity before the Lord. Nothing hidden, neither her faith, nor her need. Very simple insistence from a pagan woman does evoke in us our incredulity and the lack of faith in the Lord, particularly in His goodness.
In this lady we don’t find a trace of ‘I’ or even ‘ego’ playing an important role. Every person who forgets this ‘I’ and ‘ego’ will find the truth easily. It is because of this inner strength that the way Jesus interrogated didn’t disturb her. There is Faith and Hope. With these essential elements, there is inner peace and goodness. All these are inter linked. There is no question of what will happen to me, or what others think about me or even this ‘me’ is totally absent.
If there is something very important in this encounter is ‘present’. They are both present in time and space. Many of us either live in the past or in the future, either dreaming or suffering plainly thinking of both or either.
Daily Quote from the early church fathers:
Great was the power of her faith, and for our learning, by John Chrysostom (347-407 AD)
"See her humility as well as her faith! For he had called the Jews 'children,' but she was not satisfied with this. She even called them 'masters,' so far was she from grieving at the praises of others. She said, 'Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.' Behold the woman's wisdom! She did not venture so much as to say a word against anyone else. She was not stung to see others praised, nor was she indignant to be reproached. Behold her constancy. When he answered, 'It is not fair to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs,' she said, 'Yes, Lord.' He called them 'children'” but she called them 'masters.' He used the name of a dog, but she described the action of the dog. Do you see this woman's humility? Then compare her humility with the proud language of the Jews: 'We are Abraham's seed and were never in bondage to any man'(John 8:33). 'We are born of God' (John 8:41). But not so this woman. Rather, she calls herself a dog and them masters. So for this reason she became a child. For what does Christ then say? 'O woman, great is your faith.'
"So we might surmise that this is the reason he put her off, in order that he might proclaim aloud this saying and that he might crown the woman: 'Be it done for you as you desire.' This means 'Your faith, indeed, is able to effect even greater things than these. Nevertheless be it unto you even as you wish.' This voice was at one with the voice that said, 'Let the heaven be,' and it was (Genesis 1:1). 'And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.' Do you see how this woman, too, contributed not a little to the healing of her daughter? For note that Christ did not say, 'Let your little daughter be made whole,' but 'Great is your faith, be it done for you as you desire.' These words were not uttered at random, nor were they flattering words, but great was the power of her faith, and for our learning.
He left the certain test and demonstration, however, to the issue of events. Her daughter accordingly was immediately healed."
(excerpt from COMMENTARY ON MATTHEW, Homily 52.3)