Daily Reading for August 23
You, too, daughter of Canaan,
conquered the Unconquerable One
by boldness for that justice.
The Just One set a boundary for the land of the Gentiles
that the Gospel might not cross over.
Blessed are you who broke through the fence fearlessly.
The Lord of boundaries extolled you
for the strength of your faith.
He healed your daughter inside your house from afar.
(From St. Ephrem the Syrian’s Hymns on Virginity)
Mother Spirit, we praise you for your nameless Syro-Phoenician daughter. A fiercely devoted and loving mother, she prevailed upon Jesus—a Jewish teacher and stranger to her—to cast a demon out of her daughter. Thank you for the woman’s persistence in doing what was necessary for her daughter’s well-being. We especially praise you that she did not give up when Jesus refused her at first, but continued to reason with him until he changed his mind and did what she asked of him. When we feel like outsiders and hit obstacles as we try to help others, remind us of the Syro-Phoenician Woman. Give us the words to touch the hearts of those with the power to make changes to benefit those in need. Amen.
(Collect for remembering the Syro-Phoenician or Canaanite Woman)
From She Who Prays: A Woman’s Interfaith Prayer Book by Jane Richardson Jensen and Patricia Harris-Watkins. Copyright © 2005. Used by permission of Morehouse Publishing, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. www.morehousepublishing.com