August 17, 2014

The Gospel Today

Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Matthew 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 Jesus did not say a word in answer to her.
Jesus’ 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 Jesus 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 the woman’s daughter was healed from that hour.

Reflection (Sem. Rodel Aclan):

It is  a common experience to many of us that it seems that God is indifferent to our prayers.  Sometimes we can’t feel that God is helping us in our  immediate needs  and concern that need  to be addressed and with other   problems that we facing .  In our Gospel today, we can relate to the experience of the Canaanite woman,  who has a daughter being tormented by a devil.  She keeps on calling Jesus and asking His help but to no avail.  The disciples of Jesus even got annoyed with her and wanted her to be sent away.  The initial response of Jesus was surprising  because we expected that Jesus will immediately help the woman but He kept on ignoring her.  We  are also surprised by her  reaction,  because  after she received rejection and harsh words from Jesus, with great faith and humility  she used His line of   reasoning to reiterate her appeal.  Jesus was amazed of her faith, and because of that faith, Jesus answered her wish.

            As I reflect  with this gospel reading, I can’t help but  ask myself:  how big or how deep  is my faith to Jesus. There were  times that it seems Jesus was not listening to my prayers.  This is the time that I had  bad feelings with God and distance myself from him, unlike the woman in the parable that even when she was seems to be rejected by Jesus, with all humility and great faith she continued to implore Him.  Having no one to turn to, I revisited  my past experiences, where I faced big challenges,   and to my surprise the grace I was praying for was always there and able to help me in facing those challenges.  During those times I remember that I kept on praying  even if  there were no signs  that my prayer was being heard.  Jesus gave more than what I ask for,  but he gives according to His will and not  with what I want.  This leads  me to realize  that what Jesus wants from us is our faith in Him, our  perseverance, trust and total surrender to Him.  If we have those , then we will receive what is  best for us .  The woman in the parable received what she was asking for because of her faith with Jesus.  We too will receive what we are praying if we have faith in Him.

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