18th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Jer 31:1–7
Yahweh declares that when that time comes he will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they will be his people.
Thus says Yahweh: The people who survived the sword have found grace in the desert. As Israel was seeking for his rest Yahweh appeared from afar saying, I have loved you with a love everlasting, so I have kept for you my mercy. I will restore you again, and you shall be rebuilt, O virgin Israel!
You will take up your tambourines and go out dancing joyfully. You will plant vineyards again on the hills of Samaria, and the farmers who plant them will enjoy their fruit.
There shall be a day when watchmen will call out on the hills of Ephraim, “Come, let us go to Zion, to Yahweh our God!”
For Yahweh says this: Shout with joy for Jacob;
rejoice for the greatest of nations.
Proclaim your praise and say:
“Yahweh has saved his people,
the remnant of Israel!”
Gospel: Matthew 15:21-28
Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. Now a Canaanite woman came from those borders and began to cry out, “Lord, Son of David, have pity on me! My daughter is tormented by a demon.” But Jesus did not answer her, not even a word. So his disciples approached him and said, “Send her away: see how she is shouting after us.”
Then Jesus said to her, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the nation of Israel.”
But the woman was already kneeling before Jesus and said, “Sir, help me!” Jesus answered, “It is not right to take the bread from the children and throw it to the little dogs.” The woman replied, “It is true, sir, but even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their master’s table.” Then Jesus said, “Woman, how great is your faith! Let it be as you wish.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.
In theory, the Phoenician cities of Tyre and Sidon, belonged to Israel. Under Joshua the land was divided: the tribe of Asher was given the land “as far as Sidon the Great” and to “the fortress city of Tyre” (Joshua 19:28f). But they had never been able to subdue these cities and take possession of the surrounding territory. But where Joshua and his armies failed, another Joshua (which is the Hebrew for ‘Jesus’) conquered with love.
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