Saint Matthew 15:21-28.
Book of Numbers
The LORD said to Moses,
"Send men to reconnoiter the
land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. You shall send one man from each ancestral
tribe, all of them princes."
After reconnoitering the land for forty days they
met Moses and Aaron and the whole community of the Israelites in the desert of Paran at
Kadesh, made a report to them all, and showed them the fruit of the country.
They told Moses:
"We went into the land to which you sent us. It does indeed flow with milk and honey, and here is
However, the people who are living in the land are fierce, and the towns are
fortified and very strong. Besides, we saw descendants of the Anakim there.
in the region of the Negeb; Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites dwell in the highlands, and Canaanites
along the seacoast and the banks of the Jordan."
Caleb, however, to quiet the people toward
Moses, said, "We ought to go up and seize the land, for we can certainly do so."
But the men
who had gone up with him said, "We cannot attack these people; they are too strong for
So they spread discouraging reports among the Israelites about the land they had
scouted, saying, "The land that we explored is a country that consumes its inhabitants. And all the
people we saw there are huge men,
veritable giants (the Anakim were a race of giants); we felt
like mere grasshoppers, and so we must have seemed to them."
At this, the whole community
broke out with loud cries, and even in the night the people wailed.
The LORD also said to
Moses and Aaron:
"How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the
grumblings of the Israelites against me.
Tell them: By my life, says the LORD, I will do to
you just what I have heard you say.
Here in the desert shall your dead bodies fall. Of all
your men of twenty years or more, registered in the census, who grumbled against me,
you spent in scouting the land; forty years shall you suffer for your crimes: one year for each day.
Thus you will realize what it means to oppose me.
I, the LORD, have sworn to do this to all this
wicked community that conspired against me: here in the desert they shall die to the last
We have sinned like our ancestors; we have done wrong
and are guilty.
Our ancestors in Egypt did not attend to your wonders. They did not remember your
great love; they defied the Most High at the Red Sea.
But they soon forgot all he had done;
they had no patience for his plan.
In the desert they gave way to their cravings, tempted God
in the wasteland.
They forgot the God who saved them, who did great deeds in
Amazing deeds in the land of Ham, fearsome deeds at the Red Sea.
He would have decreed
their destruction, had not Moses, the chosen leader, Withstood him in the breach to turn back his
destroying anger.Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to
Saint Matthew 15:21-28.
Then Jesus went from that place and withdrew to the region of
Tyre and Sidon.
And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out, "Have
pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon."
But he did not say a
word in answer to her. His disciples came and asked him, "Send her away, for she keeps calling out
He said in reply, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of
But the woman came and did him homage, saying, "Lord, help me."
He said in
reply, "It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs."
"Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their
Then Jesus said to her in reply, "O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for
you as you wish." And her daughter was healed from that hour.Commentary of the day
Saint John Chrysostom (c.345-407), priest at Antioch then Bishop of Constantinople, Doctor
of the ChurchHomily 52, 1-3 on Matthew
The greatness of assiduity in prayer
When one might have expected she would depart in utter despair, at that very moment
the Canaanite woman drew nearer and worshiped, saying, "Lord, help me!"... What is this, O woman?
Did you not hear him saying, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel"? "I heard,"
she says, "but he is the Lord himself."...
was Christ's intent in putting her off, for he knew she would say this; this is the reason he denied
her wish, that she might exhibit her deep faith... So his words were not spoken in insult, but to
call forth and reveal the treasure laid up within
But I ask you: together with her faith, see
also her humility. For he had called the Jews "children," but she was not satisfied with this, but
called them "masters;" so far was she from grieving at the praises of others. "The dogs also," says
she, "eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters."... And for this she became a child.
What then says Christ? "O woman, great is your faith." This is the reason he forestalled her, that
he might praise her faith aloud, that he might crown this woman by saying "Let it be done for you as
you wish."... Do you see how this woman contributed not a little to the healing of her daughter? For
Christ did not say, "Let your little daughter be healed," but, "Great is your faith! Let it be done
for you as you wish."... Mark how, where the apostles had failed and had not gained anything, this
woman had success. So great a thing is perseverance in prayer.