Wednesday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time, August 4
As We Journey Through Life, May We Always Reach Out to God As a Child Reaching Out to Its Parent, Being Filled with the Trust That Our Father Will Never Turn Us Away.
In today’s Gospel, we hear our Lord speaking with what appears, on the surface, to be some very harsh words, “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.”
Jesus was responding to the repeated requests from a Canaanite woman for a miraculous cure for her daughter as she would cry out, “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon.”
But even after our Lord seems to rebuke her, since she was one who came from the land of Canaan, pagan territory in which the Canaanites practiced all forms of idolatry, she responded “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.”
At such a public display of faith from a pagan, a display of faith which even outshined many of our Lord’s followers, Jesus commends her, “‘O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.’ And her daughter was healed from that hour.” In her persistence and in her trusting faith, our Lord answered her prayers.
This story begs the question to be asked, “How great is our faith?” Would we give up and walk away discouraged, or do we constantly knock at the door to God’s Heart begging for His help?
Are we like the Israelite’s in our First Reading, when, after having witnessed the mighty power of God vanquish the Egyptian army with great signs and wonders, they became disbelievers and fearful when confronted with obstacles which seem, on the surface, insurmountable?
In their fear and their continued obstinacy, disbelieving in God’s Fatherly Love and His continued protection for His children, they turned their backs on their faith, and, in doing so, they created a wall, a barrier between themselves and the fulfillment of God’s plan for His people. And, in His annoyance at their persistent stubbornness, God punishes them for their obstinacy!
How strong is our faith? When times are difficult, when the bills don’t seem to be getting paid, when our children rebel against us, when, in our minds, our crosses start becoming too heavy to bear, do we still have a childlike trust and faith in God who can comfort all our sorrows and wipe away all our tears?
Many years ago, I remember visiting an elderly woman in a nursing home. She was always very bitter about her children not visiting her. She knew that this would be her final home in this life, and all she wanted was to feel some sense of love from her children and grandchildren.
When I would spend time with her, I would notice that her bitterness would carry over into her feelings for God. And yet, we all know that it wasn’t God’s fault that her children didn’t visit. But her resentment only fueled additional feelings of anger and a hostility that even God had abandoned her.
Sometimes, the elderly in nursing homes think no one has visited them, when, actually, the opposite is true. They just do not remember due to memory loss. Sadly, there ARE occasions when some of the elderly are left alone and abandoned. And the reasons behind no one visiting them can be either legitimate or not. Only God truly knows what is in the hearts of His children.
The truth of the matter is that God has never and will never abandon those He loves, and He loves each and every one of us – from the time of His creation of Adam to the moment when the last infant is to be conceived in the womb of his or her mother – with a Love which is incomprehensible, a Love which is humanly indescribable!
And, in His Love, we become His children and He becomes our Father.
Saint Paul tells us in his letter to the Galatians, “For through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.”
And being clothed with Christ, we are heirs to His Kingdom – that eternal home which awaits each of us, if only we actively embrace that gift of faith which is freely offered and freely given to His children.
By focusing on God and placing Him as the very centerpiece in our daily lives, we realize that, for our relationship with God to mature, we must also be like God, the giving of ourselves selflessly for the needs of others, for this is how Jesus lived His Life for us – a total selfless giving of Himself, even to the point of dying on the Cross.
As we journey through life with all its many ups and downs, its many peaks and valleys, with all the trials which we are sometimes called to endure, may we always look to God as the Source of our strength. May we always reach out to Him as a child reaching out to its parent, being filled with the trust that our Father will never turn us away.
May our faith be as strong as that of the Canaanite woman and stronger than that of the early Hebrews, so that we may hear our Lord commend each of us with the words:
“My child, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish!” †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “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.’…He said in reply, ‘It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.’” (Matthew 15:22, 26)
- “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.” (Matthew 15:27-28)
- “For through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” (Galatians 3:26-27)
- “The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.” (Romans 8:16-17)
- “Let us hold unwaveringly to our confession that gives us hope, for he who made the promise is trustworthy.” (Hebrews 10:23)
- “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, on your own intelligence rely not.” (Proverbs 3:5)
- “The Lord does not delay his promise, as some regard ‘delay,’ but he is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
- “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you who by the power of God are safeguarded through faith, to a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the final time.” (1 Peter 1:3-5)
- “Your word, LORD, stands forever; it is firm as the heavens. Through all generations your truth endures.” (Psalm 119:89-90a)
- “[The LORD] will be with you and will never fail you or forsake you. So do not fear or be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:8b)
Prayer for the Day
“Oh, for the peace of a perfect trust,Anonymous
My loving God, in Thee;
Unwavering faith that never doubts
Thou choose what is best for me!
“Best, though my plans be all upset;
Best, though the way be rough;
Best, though my earthly store be scant;
In Thee I have enough.
“Best, though my health and strength be gone,
Though weary days be mine,
Shut out from much that others have;
Not my will, Lord, but Thine!
“And even though disappointments come,
They, too, are best for me,
To wean me from this changing world,
And lead me nearer to Thee.
“Oh, for the peace of a perfect trust
That looks away from all;
That sees Thy hand in everything,
In great events or small.
“That hears Thy voice – a Father’s voice –
Directing for the best.
Oh, for the peace of a perfect trust,
A heart in Thee at rest.”