I. Scriptures narrate several
incidents wherewith Christ worked ahead of schedule. At Cana,
He was not due yet to perform miracles but, because of Mary's
humility, He did. In the incident of the Canaanite woman,
Christ also was not yet due to work among the Gentiles but, because
of her humility, He did.
II. The Canaanite woman's
humility overwhelmed Christ. How did she show her humility?
a) She went all the way to see Christ but did not enter Jerusalem;
she felt herself unworthy to enter the holy city. b) She left
behind her home, her very sick daughter, her kinsfolk. She
left all to go to Christ. c) But this is the greatest sign of
her humility. . . she blamed herself for the misfortune of her
daughter. She did not say: "Have mercy on my unfortunate
daughter." She said, "Have mercy on me." I have sinned,
I am the unfortunate one; what happened to my daughter is my fault.
So, "Have mercy on me."
III. Here was a woman who knew nothing
of Scriptures, of the prophecies and of the Law. But she knew
more about Christ than the Scribes and the Pharisees who mastered
the Law and the Prophets. This shows that humility is the
mother of wisdom, not books.
IV. The woman spoke and begged.
Christ did not answer. She further begged and Christ repelled
her. Why did Christ behave in such a manner? To elicit
virtue from her. What would ordinarily discourage someone did
not discourage her. She insisted. Unlike us, when we ask
and we fail to obtain, we desist. Christ sounded impossible to
her, yet she went against what seemed to be impossible and made it
V. Goodly Shamelessness born of
humility was what she exhibited. Rebuked by Christ, "I am sent
to the lost sheep of Israel." She agreed, "Yes, Lord, you were
not sent to us Canaanites for we are unworthy of you."
Insulted by Christ, "It is not right to give children's bread to the
dogs." She agreed with triumphant humility, "Yes, Lord, I am a
dog; but dogs can partake of the crumbs. Faced
with insults from Christ, the woman agreed and admitted to the truth
of the insults. And there was no anger in her in the face of
VI. Faith is the fruit of
humility. Without humility, there is no true Christian faith.
The prayer of faith is a humble prayer that receives all from God.
"And at that very hour, her daughter was made whole." Her
faith contributed much to the healing of her daughter. In the
time of Christ, many who went to Him were healed; the
Canaanite woman's daughter was healed without having gone to Christ.
. .because of the woman's faith.
St. John Crysostom, "On Matthew"