In Preparation…for the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost 2017

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Issues Etc explores the Liturgy

The Church Lives Under the Cross of Christ and Prays in the Hope of His Mercy

By her persistent prayer that Jesus would have mercy and help her (Matt. 15:22, 24), and even in the face of His initial silence and apparent rejection (Matt. 15:23–26), the Canaanite woman boldly confessed her faith in Him (Matt 15:27–28). Her beautiful example encourages us to cling to the words and promises of the Gospel, even in the face of the Law that accuses and condemns us. “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (Rom. 11:29), and His Law “has consigned all to disobedience” for the very purpose “that he may have mercy on all” (Rom. 11:32). Hence, the woman’s faith and hope were not disappointed, but her prayers were answered in the mercy of Christ. Not only does He grant us the crumbs from His table, but He also feeds us with “the children’s bread” in the house of His Father (Matt. 15:26–27). He has brought us to His “holy mountain,” and He makes us joyful in His house, where He hears our prayers and accepts our sacrifice of praise upon the altar of His cross (Is. 56:7).