Jerusalem, Notre Dame, 8th Febraury 2007
It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.
What do you feel when Jesus is speaking about dogs?
I don’t feel English language, but to say in Polish you are dog, or you dog is very offensive. So we are confused when we are reading this gospel. But to be honest, Jesus didn’t use the word “dog”. The word "dog" (in Greek "kyon") we find in the Bible over 40 times but not in today’s gospel. In today’s gospel Jesus used word "kynarion" and this is a diminutive of "kyon" and means little dog, whelp.
Now we can explain the picture from the Gospel.
There are children around the table and small dogs under the table. There is difference between them but all live in the same house. Jesus is saying to the woman:
Do you want that pagans receive the good things instead of Israel? It is not good, because Israel is a chosen nation. We can not make impression that God’s choice is not important.
The woman explained immediately:
No. I don’t want to take away the good things from Israel. I understand that it would be not fair to feed little dogs and not the children. I don’t want to say: we need God more; we deserve God more. I wanted just to say: The mercy of God is so great, that it is enough for Israel and for us.
And Jesus healed her daughter, because she understood two things:
1) Divine Mercy is enough for everybody,
2) It is not the same to be or not to be the chosen people.