Spiritual directors remind us that it is important to be attentive to the inner dialogue of head and heart deep within. How does that inner dialogue take place for you and for me? Perhaps today’s gospel gives us a clue.

Recall that the unnamed Syro-Phoenician woman is a foreigner . . . a person who by Jewish Law Jesus should ignore. She presses the life-and-death need of her daughter possessed by a demon. As the dialogue proceeds, this formidable woman moves Jesus’ heart. Perhaps the tide turns with this zinger: “Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s scraps.”

She makes her point. And we can almost hear time stand still as Jesus looks at her with compassion . . . and then assures her that the demon enslaving her daughter is now gone. We can imagine her rushing to her daughter’s side, discovering for herself the truth of Jesus’ healing words. She trusts . . . and then rejoices.

For you and me, what kind of demon is Jesus hoping to banish from our daily living and personal relationships? Can I trust that Jesus will come to my aid?

—The Jesuit Prayer Team