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Daily Catholic Question

What is the meaning of the story of Jesus and the Canaanite Woman?

I'm sure that nearly every reader finds difficulty with the passage concerning the Canaanite woman and her plea for help. Commentators struggle with trying to explain the reactions and words of Jesus.

Alexander Jones may do as good a job as any in The Gospel According to St. Matthew. Jones suggests the words of Jesus are not as harsh as they read. Whatever Jesus says, the Canaanite woman is not put off. She seems to accept his response as an invitation to persist and try to top his remark.

Jones also asserts the Greek for dogs might well be translated as "pets" or "little dogs" (puppies). Thus Jesus is telling her the children of the family (Jews) come before the pets!

Jones sees this as a kind of small parable or allegory. Jesus insists that the priority of his mission is to the Jews. Yet Jesus responds to faith wherever he finds it. And in the Canaanite woman he finds great faith.

Click here for the rest of today's answer

Saturday, December 8, 2012
Daily Catholic Question for 12/7/2012 Daily Catholic Question for 12/9/2012


Augustine of Canterbury: In the year 596, some 40 monks set out from Rome to evangelize the Anglo-Saxons in England. Leading the group was Augustine, the prior of their monastery in Rome. Hardly had he and his men reached Gaul (France) when they heard stories of the ferocity of the Anglo-Saxons and of the treacherous waters of the English Channel. Augustine returned to Rome and to the pope who had sent them—St. Gregory the Great (September 3 )—only to be assured by him that their fears were groundless. 
<p>Augustine again set out. This time the group crossed the English Channel and landed in the territory of Kent, ruled by King Ethelbert, a pagan married to a Christian, Bertha. Ethelbert received them kindly, set up a residence for them in Canterbury and within the year, on Pentecost Sunday, 597, was himself baptized. After being consecrated a bishop in France, Augustine returned to Canterbury, where he founded his see. He constructed a church and monastery near where the present cathedral, begun in 1070, now stands. As the faith spread, additional sees were established at London and Rochester. </p><p>Work was sometimes slow and Augustine did not always meet with success. Attempts to reconcile the Anglo-Saxon Christians with the original Briton Christians (who had been driven into western England by Anglo-Saxon invaders) ended in dismal failure. Augustine failed to convince the Britons to give up certain Celtic customs at variance with Rome and to forget their bitterness, helping him evangelize their Anglo-Saxon conquerors </p><p>Laboring patiently, Augustine wisely heeded the missionary principles—quite enlightened for the times—suggested by Pope Gregory the Great: purify rather than destroy pagan temples and customs; let pagan rites and festivals be transformed into Christian feasts; retain local customs as far as possible. The limited success Augustine achieved in England before his death in 605, a short eight years after he arrived in England, would eventually bear fruit long after in the conversion of England. Augustine of Canterbury can truly be called the “Apostle of England.”</p> American Catholic Blog When we go through pain it is easy to feel abandoned or forgotten, but suffering doesn’t mean God doesn’t love us, He does. Even Jesus suffered, and He was completely without sin.

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