August 16, 2020

It is not a matter of race or any other kind of privilege that we are made true sons and daughters of God. It is indeed by faith. For God has no favorites; but upon any man or woman from any nation, tribe and tongue that does His will, His favor rests. And that is the message in today’s first  reading that: Whoever joins themselves to the Lord, be they strangers or foreigners, provided they minister to him and love His name, their offerings and prayers will be acceptable on his altar. The story of the Canaanite woman in today’s gospel testifies to the truth of that statement. The disciple’s lack of faith is met with a contrast in the amazing faith of the Canaanite woman. She was a gentile, a stranger, and so had not had the privileges of being exposed to faith in Jesus like the Jews or the disciples. She was in a desperate situation of need with a child at the point of death. And to top it all, she was also a woman in a culture that was predominantly patriarchal. So in many ways the odds were stacked against her. But she beat them all. She had the courage to reach out to Jesus. She had a faith that was   indomitable and she remained sunny hearted no matter her situation. She would not allow her spirit to be broken down by a temporary adversity. By her exemplary faith she earned the tittle ‘great’ from no less a person than Jesus Himself. Faith is only truly so when it is tested. And she was tested under the worst possible circumstances yet she stood firm. From her we can all learn courage, perseverance, grace   under pressure and best of all reverence for a God who is almighty even in the face of our greatest challenges. May he grant us the grace to look beyond our mighty troubles to his Almighty power which never fails, Amen.

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