Saturday, August 16, 2014
20TH Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 17, 2014
20TH Sunday in Ordinary Time
Is 56: 1, 6-7 / Ps 67: 2-3, 5, 6, 8 (4) / Rom 11: 13-15, 29-32 / Mt 15: 21-28
First Reading: Isaiah 56: 1, 6-7
This is what Yahweh says: Maintain what is right and do what is just, for my salvation is close at hand, my justice is soon to come. Yahweh says to the foreigners who join him, serving him and loving his name, keeping his Sabbath unprofaned and remaining faithful to his covenant: I will bring them to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. I will accept on my altar their burnt offerings and sacrifices, for my house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations.
Second Reading: Romans 11: 13-15, 29-32
Listen to me, you who are not Jews: I am spending myself as an apostle to the pagan nations, but I hope my ministry will be successful enough to awaken the jealousy of those of my race, and finally to save some of them. If the world made peace with God when they remained apart, what will it be when they are welcomed? Nothing less than a passing from death to life. The call of God and his gifts cannot be nullified. Through the disobedience of the Jews the mercy of God came to you who did not obey God. They in turn will receive mercy in due time after this disobedience that brought God's mercy to you. So God has submitted all to disobedience, in order to show his mercy to all.
Gospel: Matthew 15:21-28
Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. Now a Canaanite woman came from those borders and began to cry out, "Lord, Son of David, have pity on me! My daughter is tormented by a demon." But Jesus did not answer her, not even a word. So his disciples approached him and said, "Send her away: see how she is shouting after us." Then Jesus said to her, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the nation of Israel." But the woman was already kneeling before Jesus and said, "Sir, help me!" Jesus answered, "It is not right to take the bread from the children and throw it to the little dogs." The woman replied, "It is true, sir, but even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their master's table." Then Jesus said, "Woman, how great is your faith! Let it be as you wish." And her daughter was healed at that moment.
How many times did we ask ourselves, "How much faith do I have? Many times we cannot answer it. People have been asking the same question when they are really in a deep situation and no matter how much we pray, there seems to be no answer. We are pushed to the wall because God is not listening to us.
In the Gospel today, a Canaanite woman approached Jesus to heal her sick daughter. But Jesus did not say a word. Even the disciples came to Jesus and begged him, but Jesus said "Send her away." How come Jesus Christ be acting this way? We are used to Jesus as the one who is kind, loving, and merciful. Here he seems to be very inattentive and not interested at all. But the woman was very persistent, "But, sir, even the dogs eat the leftovers that fall from their master's table." Jesus Christ was annoyed at the woman and said. "You are a woman of great faith. What you want will be done for you." At that moment her daughter was healed.
Many times Jesus will test our faith to see how determined we are. This is also a test of how persistent we are. Do we really want what we are asking for? As human beings there is a tendency for us to expect that all we ask for will be given right away. But we have to realize that God will give what we ask for in His time and not ours.. So we have to labor also and not stop asking if we really need something from Him. We have to hound heaven to answer our prayers. We have to learn how to wait, to be patient and not to demand. We are humble servants of God and we have to learn the meaning of "Thy will be done." It is all up to God.
But we know that we have a God who is merciful, who loves us. He came into this world to give us life, to save us. Reflect on the experience of the Canaanite woman. She never stopped pleading her cause and the loving and merciful Jesus granted her wish because of her faith.
This is the year of faith and again it is but right for us to deepen our relationship with God. Even as we live in the world full of temptations and sin, as long as we are anchored on Jesus, our lives will never be shattered. God is our hope, our love and the source of our faith. Have faith in our Father, have faith in Jesus and have faith in the Holy Spirit.
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... for world peace and reconciliation
... for the repose of the soul of Paul Claviolo
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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