From our gospel passage we read a Syrophoenician woman with exceptional qualities of faith, persistence and humility which moved Jesus to grant her appeal.
She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. He replied, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” She answered, “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” Then He said to her, “For saying that, you may go – the demon has left your daughter.” So she went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.
Her faith was great and persistent. Her humility was resilient to stand the test of Jesus. Even the comparison to a dog, she endured. Due to her faith, her persistence and indeed her humility, she was granted not only her heart’s desire, the freeing of her daughter from demon possession but also the recognition of her great faith “For saying that, you may go – the demon has left your daughter”. Great was her faith (cf. Mt. 15:28).
Today, it is rare that we explore the depth of our faith. In our times of constant change and rapid transformation, when everything is straining towards new horizons; when technology is developing even more rapidly. When product life becomes shorter; and customer expectations increases, it is uncommon that we find time to be patient, persistent, courageous, humble and resilient.
In our Gospel passage, the Syrophoenician woman demonstrates such extraordinary qualities of faith and perseverance, humility and sensibility. She was aware of her limitations but without any pretense about herself she was patient, courageous, humble and persistent. Her faith, patience, persistence and humility earned her the cure of her daughter – “Ukupoka icisenda ku Nkoko kunakilila”.
Many a people know their limitations, weaknesses and flaws, but they prefer to cover-up and pretend that everything is fine. Those who are proud will lose their patience and courage so easily, but the humble will persist until the goal is achieved. It is our ego that betrays and stops us from pursuing and achieving our goals. If we often fail to reach our goal, we may inquire what stands in our way. Often than not, it is our overfed, obese ego that stands in our way to success, the unholy trinity of (I, Me and Myself