From the beginning of time, we have had the tendency to erect barriers based on race, sex, nationality, religion and economic status. The Canaanite woman faced 2 huge barriers - she was a woman and she was a foreigner, a despised Canaanite. Yet, she did not allow this from pleading with Jesus to heal her daughter. She faced his silence and even being called a dog. Why? This humble yet persistent woman understood that while she was not part of the community to which Jesus was sent, she still had a place within God's household. She was going to lay claim to the crumbs that were hers.
This was a pivotal moment in Jesus' ministry. Jesus realized that God's grace and love was for everyone. The faith of a Gentile woman had broken down the barrier. The woman had enough faith - a faith lived in knowing that we are all part of God's family. Jesus had the grace and humility to respond.
Do we believe that God's mercies for all people? How do we treat those we consider to be outsiders? Do we accept those who are different than we are? Today's story tells us that we are all insiders. It reminds us to be persistent and even a little pushy in seeking acceptance and healing for ourselves and others. There is no "us" and "them". In Jesus there is only "we". Will we like Jesus have the grace and humility to respond? Amen.