Thursday of the First Week of Lent – 10 March – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – Ezechiel 18:1-9, Matthew 15:21-28
Keep me, O Lord, as the apple of Your eye;
hide me in the shadow of Your wings.
“And behold, a Canaanite woman
came out of that territory
and cried out to Him, saying,
‘Have pity on me, O Lord, Son of David!
My daughter is sorely beset by a devil.’
“O WOMAN, YOUR FAITH IS GREAT. Let it be done to you as you wish” (Mt 15:28). Indeed, she had great enough faith, since she knew neither the ancient miracles, commands and promises of the prophets, nor the more recent ones of the Lord Himself.
IN ADDITION, as often as she was disregarded by the Lord, she persevered in her entreaties and she did not cease knocking by asking Him, although she knew only by popular opinion that He was the Saviour. On account of this, she secured the great object for which she implored…
IF ONE OF US has a conscience polluted by the stain of avarice, conceit, vain-glory, indignation, irascibility, or envy and the other vices, he has “a daughter badly troubled by a demon” like the Canaanite woman.
HE SHOULD HASTEN TO THE LORD, making supplication for her healing… Being submissive with due humility, [such a person] must not judge himself to be worthy of the company of the sheep of Israel (that is, souls that are pure) but instead, he must be of the opinion that he is unworthy of heavenly favours.
NEVERTHELESS, LET HIM NOT IN DESPAIR, rest from the earnestness of his entreaty but with his mind free of doubt, let him trust in the goodness of the supreme Benefactor, for the One who could make a confessor from a robber (Lk 23:39f.), an apostle from a persecutor (Acts 9:1-30, an evangelist from a publican (Mt 9:9-13) and who could make sons for Abraham out of stones, could turn even the most insignificant dog into an Israelite sheep.”…St Bede the Venerable (673-735) – Father & Doctor of the Church