Readings for the 11th Sunday after Pentecost

Matthew 15:21-28; Romans 11:1-2a,13-15,28-32; Isaiah 56:1,6-8

     How many of us, our stomachs growling with hunger, would be willing to settle for crumbs? I don’t think so. We live in the land of super-sized portions and free refills. We expect timely service and satisfaction guaranteed…or else!

Sunday’s Gospel tells of a foreign woman whose expectations from Jesus could not be more different. Humble, yet persistent, she asks Jesus for mercy and is more than happy to accept his crumbs. The result is that Jesus shows her an abundance of his healing grace (Matt 15). This reading is a fulfillment of the promise spoken in the Old Testament reading from Isaiah. The LORD’s love for the chosen people of Israel extends outward to include people of every nation, to all who are far off (Is 56).

As a fitting complement to these two readings, Sunday’s epistle also speaks to the unique relationship that the LORD has with the Jewish people as the first to be set apart for a special covenant relationship with Him. Though His people reject the Gospel of Christ, the LORD has never stopped loving Israel, and He desires their salvation even now (Rom 11).