We’ve heard the story of the Canaanite woman so many times that it’s easy to miss the details. After all, Jesus is always withdrawing to some place or another to pray, to get away from the crowds, etc. The place names don’t mean much, since the specific location doesn’t matter – until it does.
There’s an old line that the three most important things about real estate are location, location, location. It’s so well known (and so over-used) that it’s the punchline for who knows how many jokes that have nothing to do with real estate.
But in Sunday’s Gospel, the location puts a whole different light on the exchange between Jesus and the Canaanite woman. At the beginning of the story, Jesus withdraws to the region of Tyre and Sidon. Closer to Beirut than Jerusalem, the location that Jesus chose was a different country with a different culture.
The exchange between Jesus and the Canaanite woman was possible, because Jesus sought out the location where it was possible.
More on Sunday’s Gospel tomorrow.