August 20, 2023

A39: The Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A (2023)

Sue Eaves

The Rev. Sue Eaves, an Episcopal priest from England who writes mystery novels in retirement, takes a closer look at Matthew 15:21-28 with special attention to the Canaanite woman who comes begging Jesus to heal her daughter. “He answered her not a word,” Eaves marvels, “and when he does speak it’s only to tell her that she is none of his concern (‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel’) or to dismiss her with a racial slur (‘It isn’t right to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs’). But when her great faith finally gets his attention, Jesus is the one who is transformed by the encounter.” Eaves remembers being with a group of powerful American businessmen who got an audience with Yasser Arafat (whom they suspected of being a terrorist). By telling stories of his people’s suffering and asking for their help Arafat won them over. At the end of the meeting each man hugged him. What about us? Who are we keeping at arms’ length? Who needs to be drawn into our embrace?

Manuscript available: click HERE