Sunday, August 17, 2014

Today's Mass Readings - Sunday, August 17, 2014 with Reflection

1ST READING - Isaiah 56:1, 6-7
Thus says the Lord: Observe what is right, do what is just; for my salvation is about to come, my justice, about to be revealed. 6The foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, ministering to him, loving the name of the Lord, and becoming his servants — all who keep the sabbath free from profanation and hold to my covenant, them I will bring to my holy mountain and make joyful in my house of prayer; their  burnt offerings and sacrifices will be acceptable on my altar, for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.
P S A L M - Psalm 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8
R: O God, let all the nations praise you!
1 [2] May God have pity on us and bless us; may he let his face shine upon us. 2 [3] So may your way be known upon earth; among all nations, your salvation. (R) 4 [5] May the nations be glad and exult because you rule the peoples in equity; the nations on the earth you guide. (R) 5 [6] May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you! 7 [8] May God bless us, and may all the ends of the earth fear him! (R)
2ND READING - Romans 11:13-15, 29-32
13 Brothers and sisters: I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I glory in my ministry 14 in order to make my race jealous and thus save some of them. 15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 29 For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable. 30 Just as you once disobeyed God but have now received mercy because of their disobedience, 31 so they have now disobeyed in order that, by virtue of the mercy shown to you, they too may now receive mercy. 32 For God delivered all to disobedience, that he might have mercy upon all.

Jesus proclaimed the Gospel of the Kingdom and cured every disease among the people.
Matthew 15:21-28
21 At that time, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22And 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.” 23 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.” 24 He said in reply, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 But the woman came and did Jesus homage, saying, “Lord, help me.” 26 He said in reply, “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” 27 She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.” 28 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.


I don’t think that there are any easy answers to the above question. In fact, perhaps there is no single answer that will prove satisfactory to all. Because faith is the expression of our personal relationship with God, then it is going to vary for different people — a unique definition for each of us. However,there are some aspects of faith that are considered similar to all, such as trust, surrender, listening to the Word of God, obeying it, and so on. So faith is something unique to each of us, yet similar and, thus, comparable with others’ because of its common elements.

       The Canaanite woman in today’s Gospel expresses a marvelous faith because she is not a Jew and yet she believes so deeply in the power of Jesus to heal her daughter. The deep faith of a Gentile is admirable from the point of view of the believer. Jesus is amazed by it, too! If there is any great expression of faith in the Scriptures after that of Abraham who left his country in response to God’s call, of David who went up against Goliath with little more than a sling shot as his only weapon, it is this Gentile’s faith in the power of Jesus to heal.

       Let us take time out this week, preferably today while the story is still fresh in our minds from the celebration of the Mass, to reflect upon her deep faith and see if it can inspire us to believe more deeply and trust Jesus more fully. This is the ultimate goal of all faith — to deepen our relationship with God and, thus, enter more fully into the gift of salvation that He has promised us. This woman’s faith is enough to save the life of her daughter; there is little more powerful at work in the world than that!

       Let us make a decision to put aside our doubts and focus on the testimonies of men and women of faith that we have known or read, and so pray for a deeper faith of our own. Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL
REFLECTION QUESTION: Is there anyone in your life whose faith inspires you? Does your faith inspire others as well?
Jesus, lead me deeper into my relationship with You as I reflect on the deep faith of others. Help me to remain faithful to all Your gifts every day of my life.

St. Joan of the Cross, pray for us.

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