Memorial of Saint Dominic, Priest
Reading 1 Jer 31:1-7; Gospel Mt 15: 21-28
Tyre and Sidon were considered traditionally the pagan region northwest of Jewish territory. And Canaanites were the pagan inhabitants of the area; they were lost sheep outside of Israel. A Canaanite woman comes and pleads Jesus for his daughter who suffers from the demon, but Jesus seems to ignore her because he affirms the traditional Jewish approach to salvation history. When Jesus was sent for the lost sheep it may apply to all Israel considered as lost or the lost within Israel. The metaphor of dogs is the idea that gentiles as well as Jews are fed by God. Jesus heals the daughter of the Canaanite woman after the persistent pleading or prayer. She acknowledges Jesus’ messianic statues and his ability to cure her daughter. By healing the daughter, Jesus reveals himself as the Gentiles’ savior. Whoever is going astray from God with their worldly spirituality, vices etc., is the lost sheep of (in or out of) Israel. Jesus is the liberator, savior, and redeemer of whole humanity.
Today our Church celebrates the memorial of St Dominic, a priest and founder of the order of preachers, known as the Dominicans. He was a man of prayer. He reminds us that prayer, personal contact with God is at the root of the witness of faith which every Christian must bear at home, at work, in social commitments and even in moments of relaxation. This reminds of the Russian pilgrim’s ejaculate prayer. Let us imbibe the spirit of prayer of St Dominic and persevere in prayer as the Canaanite woman and live with the consciousness of God.