Tuesday, August 07, 2007



AUGUST 8, 2007

NUMBERS 13:1-2,25-14:1,26-29,34-35
The LORD said to Moses, "Send some men to explore the land of Canaan,
which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send
one of its leaders." At the end of forty days they returned from
exploring the land. They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole
Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they
reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit
of the land. They gave Moses this account: "We went into the land to
which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its
fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are
fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. The
Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites
live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and
along the Jordan." Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and
said, "We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can
certainly do it." But the men who had gone up with him said, "We
can't attack those people; they are stronger than we are." And they
spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had
explored. They said, "The land we explored devours those living in
it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the
Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We
seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to
them."That night all the people of the community raised their voices
and wept aloud. The LORD said to Moses and Aaron: "How long will this
wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of
these grumbling Israelites. So tell them, `As surely as I live,
declares the LORD, I will do to you the very things I heard you say:
In this desert your bodies will fall--every one of you twenty years
old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled
against me. For forty years--one year for each of the forty days you
explored the land--you will suffer for your sins and know what it is
like to have me against you.' I, the LORD, have spoken, and I will
surely do these things to this whole wicked community, which has
banded together against me. They will meet their end in this desert;
here they will die."

MATTHEW 15:21-28
Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A
Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, "Lord,
Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly
from demon-possession." Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples
came to him and urged him, "Send her away, for she keeps crying out
after us." He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of
Israel." The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she
said. He replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and
toss it to their dogs." "Yes, Lord," she said, "but even the dogs eat
the crumbs that fall from their masters' table." Then Jesus
answered, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And
her daughter was healed from that very hour.

Today's scripture readings strongly show that faith makes the
difference between life and death. In the gospel reading, a
mother's great faith in Jesus saved her daughter. On the other hand,
the complete lack of faith of the Israelites, who had recently walked
through the Red Sea on dry land, meant that they would die in the
desert. In the first reading, twelve Israelite scouts walked around
in the Promised Land. Ten saw disaster and sowed discouraging reports
among the Israelites. Two saw God's hand poised to bless His people
with swift entrance into the Promised Land, and sowed faith and
confidence. However, instead of listening to the two scouts who
promised God's blessings, the people listened to the skeptical
majority and, as a result, died without gaining entrance to the
Promised Land.

When people reject prophecy, they don't simply miss out on a great
blessing from God. They actually oppose God. The measure with which
you measure will be used to measure you. If you believe in God and
work with Him, you get what you believe, and even better. If you do
not believe God and thus oppose Him, you still get what you believed,
but even worse.

According to the first reading, the Lord considers it a crime to lack
faith in him and discourage others from having faith in him. Faith is
not an add-on for the Christian life; rather, all depends on faith.
We will never have faith until we stop looking at what surrounds us
and start looking at the unseen God who surrounds us. We who believe
in Jesus must constantly walk by faith, not by sight. Faith is
conviction about things we do not see. The one who commits the crime
of not having faith in God will die in condemnation.

When the Canaanite woman persistently called out to Jesus with deep
faith saying: "Lord, heal my daughter", her wish came to pass. Jesus
turned and said to her: "Woman, you have great faith." At that very
moment her daughter got better. Her daughter was delivered not
because of the mother's persistence or persuasiveness but because of
the woman's great faith. This part of the Bible is often
misinterpreted as an exhortation to persistence in prayer, as if
Jesus does not want to help us and needs to be persuaded. However,
Jesus wants to help us more than we want his help. He loves us more
than we love ourselves. It is obvious that after dying on the cross
for us, Jesus does not need to be persuaded to love us. It is
impossible that God who did not spare his own Son but handed Him over
for the sake of us all will not grant us all things besides. When it
looks as if we are persuading God, we are actually wrestling with
doubt, and struggling to express our faith.

We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
... for the strength, healing and speedy recovery of:
- Charlie Castro, Delly David, Julie Manzon, Glenda Bisco,
Abelino Gutual
- Myra
- Ernesto and Feliciana
- Jose Rigor
- Lito David
- Cel Choa
- Sister Normita Guevarra, DC
- Dodo
- Ely
... Thanksgiving for:
- Jane Guillermo
- Manzon Family, Barayoga Family, Escamilla Family, Vergara
Family, Bisco Family, Castro Family, De Castro Family
- Bonsol family
for the personal intentions of:
- Jasmin
- Matet Rey
- Julie and Glenn Manzon, Domingo Barayoga Jr., Churchill
Barayoga, Ashley Joy Barayoga, Julie, Noc and Chibu
- Ma. Fatima
- Francis Torres
- Rupa and Jeverly
- Bebot Choa
- Karen, Kay, Kirstie and Kevin
.. for the eternal repose of the souls of
- Domingo Barayoga, Sr, Lourdes Barayoga, Allan Escamilla
Eternal rest grant unto them and perpetual light shine upon them. May
they and all the dearly departed rest in peace.
.. for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Edgar Morabe
- Birthday: Francesca Andrea Ching
- Birthday: Rita Co Son
- Prayer Intention: Alan Uy
- Thanksgiving: Castillo Family Thanksgiving:
- In Memoriam (+): Gloria del Carmen
.. for world peace and reconciliation.

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

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