The woman of the scraps, the pagan Canaanite woman, surprises and challenges Jesus: she turns him from the master of Israel to the shepherd of all those in sorrow worldwide.
An indomitable woman does not give up; like any true mother, she thinks of her child and gets closer to Jesus. She throws herself to the ground in adoration, and from her heart erupts a prayer: LORD, help me!
And Jesus, looking rough: You don’t take bread away from your children to throw it to the puppies.
She has the intelligence of mothers: It is true, Lord, yet the little dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.
As if to say: “I am in the house already; grant my daughter a “miracle crumb; we are the little doggies of the world!”
Jesus is as if thunderstruck. He is moved: Woman, great is your faith! She who does not go to the Jerusalem temple, or read the Hebrew Scriptures, is proclaimed a woman of great faith.
This is the turning point of the story. Sweetly, the woman confesses that she is there to find only crumbs, leftovers, and lost bread. Powerfully, the mother believes with all her heart that for the God of Jesus, there are no children, men, or little dogs, but sons and daughters waiting to be satiated. The God of Jesus is more attentive to his children’s pain than brokenness, and prefers their happiness to faithfulness.
Lord, give us always our daily crumbs.