To read the texts click on the texts:1 Kings 11:4-13; Mk 7:24-30
At the beginning of today’s reading we are told that Jesus has entered Gentile territory. His reputation seems to have preceded him because though he did not want anyone to know that he was there, his presence cannot be kept secret.
When the mother of a girl who is possessed by an evil spirit makes a request for healing, Jesus responds that the Jews (children) must first have their fill (Jesus’ reaching out to make them whole) and only then can the dogs (Gentiles) be fed. While in Mark the response of Jesus accepts the possibility of a Gentile mission even if after the mission to the Jews, in the parallel text in Matthew (15:24-26), it is clear that Jesus’ mission is exclusively for the Jews and not Gentiles.
The woman is not deterred and responds in a manner that bests Jesus’ response. In Mark, the concluding saying of Jesus makes explicit that the daughter of the woman is healed because she has won the argument. She has turned the metaphor to her advantage.
No one has the power to hurt or insult you unless you decide to give the person that power. When someone says something, I need to decide whether I will sulk because I find it insulting or whether I will use what he or she has said to learn something about myself and so use it to my advantage.