From Father Saliba Kassis: Showing Great Faith for the Great Lent

Our reading today is from Matthew 15:21-31 to help us mark the 4th Sunday of the Great Lent. Here we remember the great faith of a Galilean woman, a story of salvation, faith and trust.

This woman brought her daughter, demon possessed, and she was full of pain and suffering in her life. The Canaanite people did not know of the Lord, were not chosen by Abraham, they were known as foreign people. Jesus went to Tyre and Sidon, a world not known by the Israelites. Why did he go there? To find the “lost sheep.”

He was encouraged by the disciples to leave the woman alone but Jesus answered “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

The Lord was trying to test the faith of this woman. This woman had no idea about the promise of God and salvation, but she heard about Christ making a lot of miracles and healing people out of forgiveness of sin for the people. She came to him although she is not from the people of Israel.

And at the end, Jesus said “O woman, great is your faith!” – this faith is great, remember because she was not from the chosen people. It is not easy for a stranger, a foreigner, to confess to the Lord Jesus as “Son of David!”

Why did she say that? She did it by faith. Great faith.

Her request was to heal her daughter, and Jesus can renew our body. He can heal our wounds and sicknesses. With a very humble request, with a broken and contrite heart, she asked “even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” – or “can I have a little bit of blessings to heal my daughter?”

She trusted Him and had great faith in her heart. And Jesus recognized it, and at that same moment her daughter was healed.

Christ is looking for that kind of faith in all of us. Not just to say prayers and ask for something. You must face His sovereignty over all the world, visible and invisible, offering sacrifice in our heart with a broken and contrite heart. With our tears, we should go to Him.

We should also see the picture of Trinity in this short story. She professed he is the Lord, Messiah, the Son of David. We see she was inspired by the Holy Spirit, speaking in her, and she believed and was talking with Jesus. And the Father was there.

I would like to call this the story of the Great Faith. It is a story of sacrifice, contrite heart. And when we go to the Lord to kneel before Him, bow our heads, give him our pain and suffering, laying it all before Him, then He will take care of everything. But only if we have this Great Faith. This is the faith that can move mountains.

Read more in Father Saliba’s sermon video here.