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Why She Passed the Test - Family Reflection Video

Why She Passed the Test - Family Reflection Video

Learn more about our faith  |  Holy lives of inspiration

It was not by accident that Jesus was called a teacher. His actions were those of a teacher. He even gave tests, as effective teachers do, to encourage progress.

In Jesus’ case, progress in his students’ faith. In his gospel, John reports an episode where Jesus asked Philip where they could buy enough food to feed the crowd while feeding the 5,000. John inserts this text, “He did this to test him because He Himself knew what He would do" (John 6:6). But Philip fails to see that Jesus is testing him. He fails the test by calculating how much it would cost to feed a crowd of that size.

In today's gospel reading, Jesus tests someone else’s faith, this time the faith of a Canaanite woman, a Gentile. She rises to the challenge and passes the test with flying colors.

After trying all other remedies, she took a chance on seeking help from a Stranger who was a Jew because she was desperate to get her daughter’s health restored. Like any good mother in the world, she would do anything for her child. Almost daily, we hear of a mother who risked her life saving a child from a burning building or protecting her child from an animal or act of nature.

Before the woman in today's gospel began, she had three strikes against her:

  1. She was a Gentile from a hostile tribe.
  2. She was speaking to men in the street.
  3. She was asking Jesus to cure a girl, not a preferred male child.
No wonder the disciples wanted to be rid of her.

At first, Jesus seems to brush her off with his silence and by claiming His mission is only to the lost sheep of Israel or Jews and comparing Gentiles like the woman to dogs. However, this Canaanite, Gentile woman is persistent in her plea.

Jesus notices something in her that the apostles missed. There's nothing closer to God than someone who comes with love. His innate compassion and love would be violated if He did not grant her request.

Finally, Jesus commends her for her faith and says: “Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter is healed from that hour. She has passed the test. She exhibited a growing faith since getting in touch with Jesus. With persistence and earnestness, she changed her request "to a Man” into a prayer “to the living God.”

This woman's faith challenges us to reflect on how we react to God when we think He has not answered our prayers. It's important to remember that the Lord values our faith and courage, patience, and perseverance: virtues God wants to grant us more than the favor we have asked for.

Will we pass the test of our faith?

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About Father Boby John, C.S.C.

Father Boby John, C.S.C., ordained a priest in the Congregation of Holy Cross in 2008, worked as a pastor and as an educator with tribal populations in Northeast India for thirteen years. Originally from Kerala, India, Father Boby grew up with three siblings. He is a dedicated and detailed educationist with experience in educational leadership. He is currently working as an executive assistant at the world headquarters of Holy Cross Family Ministries, North Easton, Massachusetts.