Gospel Reflection - Sunday 16th August 2020

In today’s Gospel a Canaanite woman kneels at the feet of Our Lord and begs him: “Sir, Son of David, take pity on me. My daughter is tormented by a devil.” Our Lord answers her by calling her a “house-dog”.“It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the house-dogs”. The Apostles were no doubt surprised, as we maybe, that Our Lord would appear to be cruel. The woman’s reply is also very surprising. “Ah yes Sir, but even house-dogs can eat the scraps that fall from their master's table.” The woman doesn’t appear to be offended in the least at being called a housedog. In fact, all of us are called to be housedogs.

Our Lord Himself became a housedog. Let me explain. If Our Lord were to appear to you now, you would be shocked to see the honour or respect He would have for you, but, you would also be shocked to see how little He has reduced Himself to. He has reduced Himself to be the littlest of the little, the lowest of the low, the slave of the slaves, an offering incarnate. Our Lord proved that He loved you to this degree by dying by crucifixion for you, in fact, at every moment of your life, Our Lord is willing to be crucified for you. The image of the house dog is apt. A pet dog is always excited to see his master. Sometimes the dog’s excitement is uncontrollable. Hence, the expression “that dog is likely to lick you to death”.

Our Lord could be called a housedog in the sense that His only purpose is to “lick you to death” so to speak. In other words, His only purpose is to offer Himself to you with all His Heart and strength. No sacrifice is enough! Our Lord loves you as if you were the only person in existence as if nothing else matters or exists but you. Somehow, Our Lord can do that. Our Lord is concerned for us every moment of our existence with infinite love. At every moment He wants to lick us to death, so to speak. In other words, He wants to give all of Himself to us so that we become full of the Holy Spirits so that we become One with Him.

Our Lord also wants us to have joy to the full, or to be happy as possible. I remember on one occasion when dad made my sister, Patricia, so happy that she was beside herself. Patricia was about 3 years old. She was laughing and screaming at the top of her voice for about 10 minutes. Perhaps there a people here who have had that same experience with their fathers. This is the happiness that God, Our Father, always wants us to have. Also, no matter how bad you may be at times, Our Lord’s love for you never diminishes. Even if you are the worst person on the earth. Even Adolf Hitler, Our Lord always loved him infinitely. Our Lord said, “Love one another as I have loved you!”In other words, you are called to love others as Our Lord loves you. Therefore, all of us should be proud to be called housedogs.

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