Saturday, August 13, 2011

20th Sunday of Ordinary Time–Year A - 2011

Today’s Readings

CanaaniteWomanTouchMay the peace of Christ Reign in our hearts.

Today we heard the story of the Canaanite woman.

It is a touching story of faith and perseverance.

I'm convinced that Jesus knew the woman in the Gospel before she came.

He knew how much she loved her daughter.

He knew that she was not an Israelite even though she saluted him as the Son of David.

He knew that she had come understand that He could help her and that he would help her.

He knew that in the end he would indeed grant her request.
And somehow the woman knew all of these things too.
In some incredible way God had gifted her with a strong faith.

She approached him ….courageously and respectfully.
She was not deterred when he did not respond to her.
She did not let His reaction to her or seemingly harsh words deter her in any way.

And because of her faith in Him
and because of the love that she had for her daughter Jesus granted her request.

We read about her story in the Gospel because God wants us to understand how much power this kind of faith has.

The story of the Canaanite woman should cause us all to stop and reflect on the quality and depth of our own faith.

When we pray do we really believe that God hears our prayer?

If we don’t receive what we requested do we have the depth of faith to understand that the answer was simply no.

I have to be honest as I look back over my life I am grateful that God has not given me everything I prayed for.

In the heat of the moment I’ve asked for some ridiculous things.

There is also so another important lesson in this Gospel story.

The Cannanites were hated by the Jews, they were non-believers, the Jews considered them the scum of the earth yet by granting the woman’s request Jesus teaches us that no one, no human being, no matter what, is beyond God’s love.

Nationality / Race / Gender / Sexual Orientation / Personal Sinfulness / Religious belief or practice or lack there of / nothing nothing at all can separate us from the love of God.

The people of Jesus’ time were shocked that he granted the woman’s her request like they were shocked that she would even dare to ask.

Jesus’ disciples really did consider her and her people no better than a dog yet Jesus love her and granted her request.

What should we take home… from this Gospel
What should we ponder as we go about our lives…

First of all we should realize that faith isn’t just a feel good feeling, rather the stronger our faith the more it can change our values change our choices and change our lives.

I think that this Gospel passage also  teaches us that we never really know how much we are loved or how much we love until the going gets tough.

When love and life is easy, when love does not find itself challenged we never really know how strong it is.

Think about it only when there has been a problem or a challenge in your marriage or with your kids or in your family did you understand how strong your love was and how much love costs.

The woman was willing to do anything because she loved her daughter so much.

God gave her the power to beseech Jesus and his followers over and over agan. She never gave up even when she was ignored… that’s how strong her love was.

Finally if Jesus was even willing to heal the daughter of the Cannanite woman a sworn enemies of the Jews we have to work hard to transcend our prejudices, and our resentments.

His healing of the Canaanite woman’s daughter proved that no one should be excluded from our love our mercy and our forgiveness.

So holy ones…
As we go about our lives… let us ask ourselves…

Are our faith and our love as strong as the faith and love of the Canaanite woman ?

She never gave up on her daughter and she refused to give up on God’s love.

Have we ?


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