20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Matthew 15:21-28

21 And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon.
22 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and cried, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely possessed by a demon."
23 But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, "Send her away, for she is crying after us."
24 He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, "Lord, help me."
26 And he answered, "It is not fair to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs."
27 She said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table."
28 Then Jesus answered her, "O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire." And her daughter was healed instantly.

One Main Point
The extraordinary faith of the woman and her humble prayer touches Jesus.

Interesting Details
- St. Mark and St. Matthew wrote for a different public at different periods. St. Mark wrote for Gentile Christians, showing them that salvation was first for the Jews only and then for the Gentiles. St. Matthew wrote for Jewish Christians showing them that faith, and faith alone, breaks down the barrier between the Jews and the Gentiles.

- (v.21) Tyre and Sydon are two cities located on the Mediterranean coast line, they now belong to Lebanon. This area is not within the Galilee region, but close to it.

- To avoid the collective persecution by Herod's regime and the Jewish authorities, Jesus fled to Tyre and Sydon to train his apostles.

- (v.22) The woman's prayer was filled with faith, patience, humility. She recognized Jesus as the savior (descendant of David) whom the Jews did not acknowledge.

- (v.24) His first mission was to bring the Jewish people the message of their salvation. The message was later brought to the whole world.


  1. Reflect on the woman's extraordinary faith in Jesus; how is my faith in God?

  2. What are my attitudes toward non-Catholics who live Christian values?

  3. What are my attitudes to God when my prayers are being rejected?

  4. When others seek my help persistently, how do I react?

Enter Reader's Response or View Reader's Response this week

A synthesis by the Vietnamese Christian Life (Dong Hanh) Community
Updated: 5/28/96
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