Today, in the Gospel, we learn of a Canaanite woman – whose religious heritage was very different from that of the Jews – but she too had faith in Jesus. She came to Jesus begging Him to heal her daughter who was “severely possessed by a demon.”

As Jesus passed by, this woman called out for help from Him: but Jesus seemed to ignore her. Then a little later, His disciples come to Him and ask Him to “Send her away! Get rid of her.”

“GET RID OF HER!” This is a hateful attitude and a hateful saying. It was used by Hitler when he referred to the Jews and Catholics. It was used by Stalin when he referred to the Catholics of the Ukraine. It was used by Idi Amin, whose eight-year reign of terror in Uganda encompassed the widespread torture and killing of 300,000 people, disposed multitudes of Uganda’s.

It is used today by South American Dictators against Catholic bishops, priests and sisters who stand up for the rights of the peasants against the military governments. It is used today by ISIS while they behead the Christians of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran – and anyone else who will not convert to the Muslum Faith, and when they set off bombs and use rented vans to attack and kill innocent people in Barcelona, Paris, and other major cities in Europe and the United States.

It is used by Hamas in Gasa as they dig tunnels into Israel for the purpose of terrorist acts and send into Israeli neighborhoods. It is used when fear and prejudice makes one feel that he or she is better than someone else. “GET RID OF THEM” – it’s the easiest and ugliest way to solve a problem.

The Canaanite woman came to Jesus a second time. His response was: “I have been sent to minister to the Jews:” – but that didn’t matter to her – she knew that He could heal her daughter. She trusted that He would heal her daughter – so she fell to her knees and cried out: “Lord help me!”

Then came the most surprising part of all. Jesus said: “It is not fair to take food from the children and give it to the dogs.” Even that response didn’t seem to bother her. She had a quick comeback: “even the dogs have a right to the crumbs that fall from the master’s table: and Jesus responded: ” What great faith you have – your daughter is healed!”.

The Canaanite woman was a woman of great faith – a faith that would not give up. Her faith enabled her to keep asking, seeking, knocking – not once, not twice, but three times she begged, pleaded, and implored: “Have pity on me!… Help me!… Please!”

This woman was not part of the crowd that had been following Jesus as He taught and preached. But she knew about Him and she trusted that He could and would help. Even when Jesus put her off – even when he affectionately (with a twinkle in His eye) called her a little lap – dog, she refused to be insulted and turn away. The woman loved her daughter and would keep begging until she got the help she needed – she had deep trusting faith!

In contrast to her faith, there’s the person today who says: “I don’t believe in prayer. I tried it once and it doesn’t work; – I didn’t get what I wanted. Or there’s the person who is angry at God because of some crisis or illness or death in the family: they say God is not fair!

Perhaps it’s not God Who is unfair – but rather they who are unfair in their demands on God. The readings this weekend, invite us to take a good look at this Canaanite woman and compare her faith to our own. We need to ask ourselves a question: – “How deep is my Faith and how important is my relationship to God and the Church?”

In regard to our relationship with Him, Jesus tells us: whoever asks will receive, whoever seeks will find, whoever goes to God will not come back empty-handed. No matter what kind of person you have been in the past; no matter how you have related to God or how many times you have fallen into the same sin, God loves you! And He wants you to bother Him as the Canaanite woman did – to chase after Him and keep shouting out and begging Him. Jesus cured the Canaanite woman’s daughter regardless of what the apostles thought He should do.

Don’t be afraid to talk to God again and again about the issues of your life that really matter even when it seems that He’s not listening. God does hear the prayers of each one of us, yet He knows what is best for us; so we might not get the answer we would like to hear.

Shortly after World War II, workmen were clearing – out the debris from a bombed-out house in Cologne, Germany. On one of the cellar walls of a house, they discovered a moving inscription. It had apparently been written and left there by a fugitive Jew who had used the basement to hide from the Nazis.

The inscription read: “I believe in the sun even when it’s not shining. I believe in love even when I don’t feel it. I believe in God even when He is silent.”

This is the Faith of the Canaanite woman in the Gospel today. This is the Faith of the Church. Is it your Faith?