Matthew 15: 21-28; 2 Cor. 6: 16-7: 1
The Lord says to those who want to be with Him in His Church: “Come out from them, and be separate from them… and touch nothing unclean; then I will welcome you, and I will be your father, and you shall be my sons and daughters”. Very often a person approaching the walls of the Church faces an insurmountable barrier. Sometimes it’s a wall of confusion, other times it seems like a wall of hostility. Sometimes this wall frightens with the severity of requirements; other times it repels with its seeming primitiveness… However, the very fact that everyone is repelled by different things shows that the problem is not with the wall. We often see the same attitude towards the Gospels. Some do not consider them authentic, because they allegedly contradict one another, while others, on the contrary, doubt them because they are too similar.
This wall seemed even more impregnable in the Old Testament times, when only the sons of Abraham were considered God’s sheep. And yet, those truly wishing to overcome it were able to do so even then.
One day a pagan Canaanite woman approached Jesus Christ and started shouting, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon!” She repeated this many times to Christ, Who remained silent until the disciples lost their patience and said, “Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us”. Jesus was firm, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel”. But the woman continued beseeching Christ with blind, unreasonable hope, “Lord, help me”. Then the Lord said something even more severe, “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs”. Hearing such words would make most people walk away with shame and resentment. But the Canaanite woman replied, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table”. After that the Lord exclaimed, “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish”. At the same moment her daughter was healed. This woman was able to overcome the wall of religious and national alienation almost instantaneously.
In a similar way, those who wish to enter the Church founded by Christ need to realize that they need to overcome an invisible wall, behind which are God’s children, whose ‘crumbs’ are more valuable than the worldly treasures. Let us ask ourselves, would we be able to stay faithful to the end like this woman? If not, then maybe we have not yet entered the sheepfold of the Church, despite visibly being within its limits?
Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds