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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.

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

John Leonardi: "I am only one person! Why should I do anything? What good would it do?" Today, as in any age, people seem plagued with the dilemma of getting involved. In his own way John Leonardi answered these questions. He chose to become a priest. 
<p>After his ordination, he became very active in the works of the ministry, especially in hospitals and prisons. The example and dedication of his work attracted several young laymen who began to assist him. They later became priests themselves. </p><p>John lived after the Protestant Reformation and the Council of Trent (1545-63). He and his followers projected a new congregation of diocesan priests. For some reason the plan, which was ultimately approved, provoked great political opposition. John was exiled from his home town of Lucca, Italy, for almost the entire remainder of his life. He received encouragement and help from St. Philip Neri, who gave him his lodgings—along with the care of his cat! </p><p>In 1579, John formed the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, and published a compendium of Christian doctrine that remained in use until the 19th century. </p><p>Father Leonardi and his priests became a great power for good in Italy, and their congregation was confirmed by Pope Clement in 1595. He died at the age of 68 from a disease caught when tending those stricken by the plague. </p><p>By the deliberate policy of the founder, the Clerks Regular of the Mother of God have never had more than 15 churches and today form only a very small congregation.</p> American Catholic Blog Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

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