Readings for Wednesday August 5, 2009
First Reading: Numbers 13:1-2,25-14:1,26-29,34-35
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 106
Gospel: Matthew 15:21-28
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. (Matt. 15:25-28)
Humility and persistence. These are the two important character traits that we learn from the Canaanite woman in today's gospel. This women, who did believe in who Jesus was, was not concerned with her own welfare, but only that of her daughters. She was so moved by love for her daughter that she was willing to humble herself and even refer to herself as a dog. Her persistence also spoke highly to the Lord. At first Jesus did not initially answer her and then the disciples were insisting that she go away. This would have been very discouraging to most people, but this woman did not give up, she kept asking for the Lord to help. For through her persistence and her humility, she showed Jesus her true faith.
Many times we get discouraged because we think that Jesus is not answering our prayers or hearing our needs. He is there and He always knows what we need. We must remember that prayer is not a communication tool that simply helps us to inform God of the things that we need, prayer is for us to understand how much we need Him. Prayer is for us to trust and to rely on Him. Prayer is for us to let go of our own will and to see His will for us. We too must allow ourselves to embrace humility and be persistent in prayer as this Canaanite women was.
As a final though, let us reflect on the words of Saint Paul in his letter to the Romans; he states: "Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer." (Rom 12:12)
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, you are our Lord and God and it is only you who we follow and worship. Lord, help increase our faith so that we might be grounded in humility and seek you at all times. Let us always be joyful and to see you in each moment of our life. Lord we pray for all those who are in need of conversion, all of our church leaders and all of our political leaders. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.