Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time / John Mary Vianney
Gospel: Mt 15:21-28
At that time Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out, “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon.” But he did not say a word in answer to her. His disciples came and asked him, “Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.” “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But the woman came and did him homage, saying, “Lord, help me.” He said in reply, “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.” Then Jesus said to her in reply, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed from that hour.
FAITH CONQUERS: In life there are many upsets and unmet dreams. Expectations are often far beyond the reality. During political campaigns, politicians give promises of an ideal and better future only for the people to realize it was a strategy for winning an election. The children of Israel expected that their take over in Canaan would be devoid of struggles. But after the spies gave their report, they felt cheated and discouraged just like we feel after elections. Yet we see that those who keep the faith, will survive like Joshua and Caleb. In the gospel we see a woman who had a similar spirit like that of Caleb and Joshua. Even after Jesus ignoring her and the disciples desiring to send her away, she kept the faith and received her miracle. We must remain faithful and trusting even during challenging times.
PRAYER: Lord we pray for all the priests that they may be like St. John Maria Vianney.
HOPE AND DESPAIR: Prayer is a means through which we express ourselves to God. The Canaanite woman got such an opportunity to be with Jesus. Her demoniac possessed daughter was causing her sleepless nights. Jesus’ disciples wanted her sent away. There was some “reluctance” from Jesus in granting her request. She pressed on and nothing could stop her. Not even her gender or tribal difference. She recognized that she had nowhere else to turn to except clinging to Jesus. There are situations in life where one has to take courage by refusing to take “no” for an answer to a desperate need. Most of us find themselves in similar situation as the Canaanite woman. Families are suffering different challenges like illness and with high hospital bills. Some lack employment and school fees. This is the moment that one needs to cling to Jesus and pray earnestly with firm faith. Prayer is persevering in trust and patience to wait for God’s time.