We humans can be stubborn. We can think we know ourselves so well. We sometimes need people to pester us until we open our minds and reconsider our values or goals. We’re just like Jesus in this week’s Gospel.
Jesus seems stubborn and closed-minded, although there may be more going on in the story than we know about. He seems entirely focused on his mission to the Jews – until the Canaanite woman urges him to reconsider. Some scripture scholars argue that this story really does reflect how Jesus learned about his mission from others who challenged him.
He was fully human. Like us, he had to learn about himself and his talents. It also took him time to understand God’s role for him. He didn’t know all of this from birth.
Here’s the challenge for us. If Jesus needed others to help him learn more about himself, don’t we? Think about that this week. When someone disagrees with you, don’t be stubborn. Listen.
Don’t be defensive when someone challenges you. Look within. Don’t turn down the opportunity to try new retreats, youth groups, or community service experiences. Open your mind and go.
Quite often, God calls us to be people we’re called to be – and leads us to the fulfilling life planned for us – through others who disagree, challenge, or invite us. Keep your eyes and ears open this week. A “Canaanite woman” just might come across your path.

Excerpt from Gospel Connection of GPBS