Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time - Year A
TO MAKE MY RACE JEALOUS
Paul is frustrated by the reaction of many Jews to his missionary efforts. A zealous group has been hounding him, trying to undo his work. He is proud of his success among non-Jews or gentiles. He sees this achievement as a vindication of Christian faith and hopes it will arouse jealousy among his peers. Paul isn't boasting of his glorious accomplishments. He wants the other members of his "race" to interpret the victory as a blessing from God, a sign of divine approval to faith in Jesus.
WAS JESUS RUDE TO THE WOMAN?
Celebrities sometimes have problems that don't effect normal people. Anytime they are in public they get swamped by attention. Personal privacy can disappear. This happened to Jesus and his apostles so much that he finally had to get them away by a trip to Lebanon. His popularity preceded him. A local woman begged for help for her sick daughter. Jesus' reaction seems rude and even cruel. What's the real story?
Jesus seems to be speaking as much for the instruction of his disciples as for the woman. Then as now there were often bitter antagonisms among the people of the different countries. Each side used derogatory words for their neighbors. The apostles want to get rid of a trouble-maker, a "dog". Jesus throws this epiphet back in their faces. The woman obviously recognizes it as a harmless joke.
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