20th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Well after all the threatening words coming from the US and North Korea last week we haven’t seen anyone annihilating anyone else as a result of a nuclear strike and we thank God for that but we must continue to pray for peace in the world. As I am writing these words the news is coming in about the loss of 14 lives in Barcelona may all of those who have been touched by this awful event know that our prayers are with them. Closer to home we remember all those who have got or will be getting their public exam results during these days exams are not everything it is the people involved who are important.
Our Gospel reading for this Sunday is all about the faith of the Canaanite woman whose daughter was being tormented by a devil, but when you read the story we realize it is really about the great faith that she has and it was that faith in Jesus that cured her daughter even though she had to be persistent in dealing with the Lord.
The woman in today’s Gospel story is not satisfied with just tears as her daughter “is tormented by a demon.” Any mother or father out there knows how fiercely they would spring into action if a “cure” was before them for their own sick child. The Canaanite woman is an example for us of that deep-seated faith and trust in Christ’s power and Christ’s goodness. Even though He ignored her she continued to beseech Him, and when He answered with what seemed a direct refusal, her faith and trust did not waver. She answered His reason for refusal with another statement which showed that the granting of her petition would not in any way interfere with or impede His primary task, His mission to His father’s chosen people. This was the proof of great faith which He required. He granted her request. There is a great deal about ourselves and our own faith in this gospel passage. Over a number of years I have been involved with many people who have been praying for this or that or for or a member of their families and they have said to me that the prayers have not been heard let alone answered.
I have always told them to persist and not give up with the prayers because they are always heard and this has been the case with so many people throughout history. In the same way as the Canaanite woman pestered Jesus we should never give up though we mightn’t have our requests granted when WE want them they will be granted when we really need the things that we are praying for. The message of this Sundays readings is about FAITH life can be a bit of a pickle with good and bad things within it, but a life lived with faith in God and the people around us will see all the various obstacles being removed. Would our faith be as persistent as the faith of the woman in this Sundays Gospel only you can answer that one. A friend of mine is constantly praying for her son and thankfully her prayers are being answered but sometimes the road can be a bit rocky along the way but we have to keep on going because faith moves mountains but we need to keep on climbing and we will find that god is there among the pickle of our lives!!