Saturday, August 16, 2014

08-17-2014 -- Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

August 17, 2014 - Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church

In his book Jesus of Nazareth, Pope Benedict poses this question:  What did Jesus bring to the world?

He did not bring peace.  He did not bring prosperity.  He did not bring an end to sickness and disease.

So, what has he brought us?  The answer is very simple.  Jesus has brought God to the world.

The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of Moses and the prophets, the creator of the universe is revealed to us in the person of Jesus Christ.

Up to the point where we see Jesus in the Gospel today, it seems that Jesus felt like his mission was only to the lost sheep among the Jewish people.  At least, that’s what he says.

But he is God’s only son.  So he cannot ignore the pleadings of the Canaanite woman.  Her faith and her persistence bring about healing from his hands.

And this is the beginning of Jesus’ mission to the whole world.  Almighty God does not see or recognize national boundaries. 

God’s loving, merciful kindness is for everyone.  And we are all God’s children regardless of race or national origin.

God is not American.  God is not white.  God is God. 
And God is love.  And God is life.  And God is light.

And God is merciful and forgiving, slow to anger and rich in kindness.

Through this act of healing the Canaanite woman’s daughter, God is revealed to the world.  We learn that God cares about all his children.

And this loving kindness, this care and concern removes all barriers and heals all wounds.

But it is something we must seek out.  It is something we must call for.

Like the woman in the gospel who seeks healing for her daughter, we must focus on Jesus persistently, and, in faith; we must keep calling out to him.

This is difficult because the demons keep trying to silence us.  They stir up trouble in our lives.  They unsettle us.  They tell us lies, and sometimes we believe them.

They make us feel so unworthy that we think that we cannot call out to Jesus, that Jesus does not love us, that Jesus does not hear us, and that God does not care about us.

We believe these lies.  And, as a result, our hearts become filled with anger, hatred, racism, lust, greed, deceit, depression, anxiety.

These sap all our faith, the very faith we need to call out to Jesus.

Listen again:  O woman, great is your faith!  Let it be done to you as you wish.

If we want our faith back, we must close our ears to the voices of evil that are all around us.

And we must, once again, seek the Lord with all our hearts, calling out to him:  Have pity on me! 

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