August 16, 2020
Jesus Christ, the Word of the Father, meets a Canaanite, pagan woman who humbly and enormously shouts to her, “Have compassion on me, Lord, Son of David. Lord, help me.”
Reading the book of Isaiah 56, 1. 6-7
This is what the Lord says:
“Observe the right, practice justice,
because my salvation is coming,
and my justice is going to manifest itself.
who have joined the Lord in serving Him,
to love the name of the Lord
and be your servants,
who watch on Saturday without desecrating it
and they keep my alliance,
I will bring you to my holy mountain,
I will fill them with joy in my house of prayer;
their burnt offerings and sacrifices
they will be acceptable on my altar;
because my house is a house of prayer,
and so all the peoples will call it.”
Exit 66, 2-3. 5. 6 and 8
R/. O God, may people praise you, may all people praise you.
May God have mercy and bless us,
light up his face upon us;
know the earth your ways,
all peoples your salvation. R/.
May the nations sing with joy,
because you rule the world fairly,
and you rule the nations of the earth. R/.
Oh, God, praise the peoples,
that all the peoples praise you.
May God bless us; who fear him
all the ends of the earth. R/.
Reading the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans 11, 13-15. 29-32
To you Gentiles, I say to you: being like I am an Apostle of the Gentiles, I will live up to my ministry, to see if I give jealousy to those of my race and save some of them.
For if his rejection is reconciliation of the world, what will not be his reintegration but return from death to life?
For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.
Indeed, just as you, in another time, disobeyed God, but now you have obtained mercy for their disobedience, so too have you now disobeyed on the occasion of the mercy which has been bestowed upon you, so that they too may now attain mercy. For God locked us all in disobedience, to have mercy on all of us.
Reading the Holy Gospel according to Matthew 15, 21-28
At that time, Jesus went out and retreated to the Region of Tyre and Sidon.
Then a Canaanite woman, coming out of one of those places, started yelling at her:
“Have compassion on me, Lord Son of David. My daughter has a very bad demon.”
He didn’t answer anything. Then the disciples approached him to say:
“Take care of her, she comes behind screaming.”
He answered them:
“I have only been sent to the stray sheep of Israel.”
She approached and prostred herself before him saying:
“Lord, help me”.
“It’s not right to take the children’s bread and throw it at the puppies.”
But she re-arranged:
“You are right, Lord; but puppies also eat the crumbs that fall off the table of the amos.”
“Woman, how great is your faith: may what you desire be fulfilled”.
At that moment her daughter was cured.
Today’s Word of God comforts us in an incredible way in this time of universal suffering that we are going through.
Through the prophet Isaiah, God makes us a call to live according to what He expects of us, in holiness and justice, taking into account what we must do for Him and also for others, which is summed up in the precept of love. to love Him with all his heart, with all the strength, with all being. and one’s neighbour as oneself. Delicately but firmly he invites us to put our batteries on, not to seek excuses or dilations in our commitment to Him, not to justify our dissatisfiedness, not to hide our injustices and sins. It also reminds the Israelites, and also us, that their call is universal, for all men and women of goodwill. God for each one has his moment, but to all, regardless of race, culture, place, religion, he calls us to his holy mount, to his house of prayer, image of the Church, sacrament of unity of all mankind, common home of all who believe in Christ as the living sacrament of the Father.
In the second reading St Paul reminds us of something very important that completes the above: the gifts and call of God are irrevocable. That is, God does not change our minds or seem like we do, God does not say yes and then say no, God does not give us something and then take it away from us. God is faithful to the covenant with his people, he knows how to wait for our response of faith, He has patience with each of us, he understands our weaknesses and disobediences, heals our wounds, floods us with his grace, is rich in mercy.
This word today, comforting and enlightening, is completed by the Gospel, to which we approach with a reflection of Pope Francis:
“Today’s Gospel introduces us to a Canaanite woman, a foreigner, who implores Jesus to heal her daughter, who ‘has a very bad demon’. The Lord, at first, seems not to hear this cry of pain. The apparent est est estating of Jesus does not discourage this mother, who insists on her invocation. This strength must be sought in his motherly love and in the confidence that Jesus can satisfy his request. And this makes me think about the strength of women. With their strength they are able to get great things. We’ve met many! It is love that moves faith, and faith, for its part, becomes the prize of love. Love for her daughter induces her to shout, ‘Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David!’ And the persevering faith in Jesus allows him not to be discouraged even in the face of his initial rejection; so the woman came to prostrate hed before Him and said, ‘Lord, help me!’ In the end, in the face of such perseverance, Jesus remains admired, almost astonished, by the faith of a pagan woman and agrees: ‘Woman, great is your faith; let it happen to you the way you want it to.’ And from that moment her daughter was cured.
His insistence is for us a stimulus not to be discouraged, so as not to despair when we are oppressed by the harsh trials of life. The Lord does not turn to our needs, and if He sometimes seems insensitive to requests for help, it is to test and strengthen our faith. We must continue to shout like this woman: ‘Lord, help me! Sir, help me!’ So, with perseverance and courage. And this is the courage that is needed in prayer.”
Sir, help me. Guide me through the darkness around me. The night is dark and I feel away from home. Drive me, You who call yourself Way, Truth and Life.
Sir, help me. Guide my steps. I’m not asking you to show me the future or what you have in store for me for later. One more step is enough for me, the passage of every morning, of every day.
Sir, help me. I have not always let myself be guided by you, nor have I prayed that You will lead me. I liked choosing my own path and walking with my own strength.
Sir, help me. Pride and pride have led my steps. Don’t remember those past times. You are all-powerful and have blessed me overabundently. Take me in the palm of your hand, tattooed my name deep in your merciful heart. Take me further and further on, free of ties and lastres. Amen