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Sunday of the Canaanite Woman
 


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In the Gospel reading today Jesus encounters a Canaanite (Syrophoenician) woman who begs him to cure her daughter.  Jesus initially refuses her request by saying, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs”.   Taken out of context, and especially in English, it is easy to mistake this for an insult.  In the flow of the story, however, it is clear that Jesus is creating a metaphor meant to explain the priorities of his ministry.  He is also teaching an important lesson to his disciples.


In the Epistle reading today Saint Paul reminds us that “we are the temple of the living God,” and thus we should “cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, and make holiness perfect in the fear of God.”

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The following readings below are for Sunday, January 23, 2022


Today's Epistle reading [2 Corinthians 6.16-7.1]:

What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, "I will live in them and move among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore come out from them, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch nothing unclean; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”  Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, and make holiness perfect in the fear of God.

 


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The Gospel reading for today [Matthew 15.21-28]:

And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and cried, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely possessed by a demon." But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, "Send her away, for she is crying after us." He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." But she came and knelt before him, saying, "Lord, help me." And he answered, "It is not fair to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." She said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table." Then Jesus answered her, "O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire." And her daughter was healed instantly.