Read­ing Time: 3 minutes



Jesus is gradu­ally mani­fest­ing the uni­ver­sal­ism of sal­va­tion. After silen­cing and expos­ing the hypo­crisy of the Phar­isees and the Scribes (cf. Matt 15:1–9) and after cla­ri­fy­ing to his dis­ciples the things that make a per­son unclean (cf. Matt 15:10–20), he leaves the Jew­ish ter­rit­ory for the Gen­tile region, Tyre and Sidon – the two main cit­ies of Phoen­i­cia. The request of the Canaan­ite woman is an exten­sion of God’s sal­va­tion to the entirety of human­ity (cf. Gen 12:3). Such sal­va­tion is not the mono­poly of any nation. That Jesus ini­tially ignored the woman and refused to say even a word to her should not be a scan­dal. Rather, it should be seen as a didact­ic tac­tic. Again, the dis­ciples, though slowly, are pro­gress­ively learn­ing from Jesus. After the incid­ent in Mat­thew 14:15–17, they can­not repeat such a mis­take again. Hence, they implored Jesus to listen to the woman who cried after them.

Success comes through failure

Accord­ing to a Chinese pro­verb, “fail­ure is not fall­ing down but refus­ing to get up.” Again, I agree with Nel­son Man­dela when he said, “do not judge me by my suc­cesses, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” Some people are afraid of fail­ure and, there­fore, of fall­ing, hence, they do not attempt. On the oth­er hand, oth­ers give up at the slight­est set­back. These people are not aware that fail­ure is suc­cess sealed. Suc­cess is the oth­er side of the coin. If in Mat­thew chapter 10 the dis­ciples were asked to lim­it their mis­sion to the lost sheep of Israel, with the epis­ode of this Sunday Gos­pel (Matt 15:21–28), Jesus indic­ates to the dis­ciples and to every believ­er that it is he who is to inaug­ur­ate the mis­sion to the Gen­tiles. Take a closer look at the con­ver­sa­tion between Jesus and the Canaan­ite woman. At her request, Jesus ignored her and pre­ten­ded he had nev­er heard her. As if this were not enough, he iron­ic­ally told her that he was not allowed to min­is­ter to her. Finally, he sum­mar­ized his pre­sumed indif­fer­ence to the woman with a pro­voca­tion, mak­ing a dis­tinc­tion between the woman/Gentiles (dogs) and the Israel­ites (chil­dren). But in all, the woman did not give up; she con­tin­ued to per­severe. Today, Chris­ti­ans engage in reli­gious pros­ti­tu­tion because they think God is delay­ing exhaust­ing their request. Too bad!


Dear read­er, Per­sever­ance is per­sist­ent determ­in­a­tion. It is per­sist­ence in any­thing under­taken. It is also a refus­al to stop. Theo­lo­gic­ally, per­sever­ance is con­tinu­ance in a state of grace until it is suc­ceeded by a state of glory. Des­pite the dif­fi­culties and oppos­i­tion he encountered, Jesus per­sisted and refused to stop until the mis­sion entrus­ted to him by God was ful­filled. Regard­less of the seem­ingly pro­voc­at­ive insult, the Canaan­ite woman refused to stop plead­ing for help. She per­sisted until Jesus heard her request. In like man­ner, fail­ure should not fright­en us. Fail­ure is the road to suc­cess, except when such fail­ure is the fruit of sin and injustice. Always be guided by this motto: “Good, bet­ter, best, let us nev­er rest, till our good, bet­ter, and our bet­ter best.” Per­man­ence, per­sever­ance, and per­sist­ence in spite of all obstacles, dis­cour­age­ments, and appar­ent impossib­il­it­ies are the things that dis­tin­guish the strong soul from the weak soul. If you are afraid of fail­ure, you can nev­er achieve this. The idea of seek­ing break­throughs and get­ting some­thing out of noth­ing is a sign of greed and can lead to steal­ing. Ask God to grant you the gift of per­sever­ance. God bless you, and please, join me again next week. May God bless your sin­cere effort. Amen! Sha­lom!     

SUNDAY REFLECTIONS” (vols. I‑II-III)!! The reflec­tion for the 20th Sunday of the year (A) is found in
The Word of Life, vol. I, pages 409–414. Happy reading!

For details on how to get it, con­tact the author on this link: https://m.me/uchennabiblia?fbclid=IwAR2yeg4a6sDGBp9QGkIvKj6FSADumMokN6lshdE0zuo-JHs6qOmlhA7jyHo
or email me at: postmaster@uchennabiblia.com
or simply send an SMS on 08116100926, and I will get back to you.

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