And answering, He said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to their dogs.’ (Matthew 15:25)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The woman in today’s Gospel teaches us something really tough in the Christian faith: God sometimes says “No.” He says, “Not yet.” He sometimes answers prayers with such a deafening silence that it appears as if He isn’t even listening.
And do you know the most painful part? You know you don’t deserve Him to be gracious to you because deep down inside you know the evil you’ve done. You’ve not really loved Him as you should. And others? Your love for them is always eclipsed by your love for yourself.
You don’t like it. It really hurts. Why doesn’t He do what I need Him to? Why doesn’t He save me when I think I need saving most? Why does He answer some prayers but not mine? Why is He so far from me?
It hurts Him, too. It makes Him sad, especially when your unbelief tempts you into thinking He doesn’t care. He does care. He cares in the Lent, in the suffering, pain, and bloody death of His Son. In the silence of your unanswered prayers, the only thing to cling to is Jesus alone.
Jesus Lents, suffers, and dies for you. That’s how you know God hears your prayers! That’s how you know that even God’s silence and non-answers are for your good. That’s how you know that it hurts God when you hurt and makes Him cry when you cry.
Apart from Jesus, God seems cold, distant, and uncaring. He lets good things happen to evil people while He seems to allow bad stuff to pile up on you.
You are not and never will be apart from Jesus! You’re baptized and washed. You are holy in Him and forgiven. You are a kingly priest and will inherit the whole earth.
This means that every answer God gives to you, every silent non-answer and every “I’m not for you” that He says is to drive you to a deeper and greater understanding of His love for you. It’s to push you and pull you to receiving His gifts. Receiving Jesus—that’s faith. You are nothing but “givable” to Him.
Faith believes this. Faith trusts this. It receives from the Lord’s hand good and bad and even “no” as gifts from God. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” (St. Matthew 15:27)