How often do we, like the disciples in today’s Gospel, divide the world into “us” and “her”/“they”? I imagine that most of us, if we are being honest, could replace “her” with a group of people, or a particular person, that we wish to maintain distance from and distinguish from “us.”

The tenacity of the Canaanite woman – her holy boldness – wears down Jesus’ own narrow thinking. She persists in her vision that even Gentiles (the “dogs”) desire and deserve the compassion, healing and belonging that Jesus offers. And we see Jesus grow beyond his discomfort and narrow vision to embrace the fullness of his mission to all people, not just the children of Israel.

Today, I consider the following two questions:
Who in my life keeps calling out after me for compassion, desiring to be heard? 
How will I respond?

—Dan Finucane teaches theology and coordinates Campus Ministry activities at St. Louis University High School in St. Louis MO.