August 7, 2013

The Gospel Today

Wednesday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Mt. 15: 21-28

At that time Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
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.”
But he did not say a word in answer to her.
His disciples came and asked him,
“Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.”
He said in reply,
“I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
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.

Reflection (Sem. Jul Elden Nuique):

Persistence is an important part of growing in our faith and in living our lives to the fullest.  It means being single-minded and consistent in the decisions we make and the things that we do.  It means being flexible enough to the ever-changing circumstances of the world to adapt our plan accordingly.

The problem is, before we can be persistent in life, we need to know what we truly want, our deepest desire.  Buried beneath layers of previous experiences resulting in psychological, emotional, and spiritual neuroses is this honest yearning.  We need to unearth this pearl of great price before we can ever be consistent in life.

This deepest desire is part of our being; it is essential, therefore, inseparable from us.  Our Heavenly Father has included this when he lovingly created us even before we were in our mother’s womb.  We can safely say that this is His specific plan for us.  Because we have not paid enough attention to this part of us, the only way we can ever know about it now, is that He must call our attention to it once more.  When we hear His call, we need to pay honest attention with our whole being; tied to this call is our happiness, our deepest desire.

The woman in today’s Gospel account knew that the Father’s call for her was to be a responsible and diligent mother – that was her deepest desire.  She could brave the ethnic insults hurled her way and speak her mind in that strongly patristic, therefore masculine, society.  All that mattered to her was the well-being of her daughter, tied up to her essence as a mother.

What truly matters to us?  What does the Father call us to do, which is our deepest desire?

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