August 9, 2017 – Wednesday in the 18th Week of the Church Year

Saint for the day: Benedicta of the Cross (October 12, 1891 – August 9, 1942)

Scripture Readings for today’s Liturgy:

Numbers 13:1-2, 25 14:1 …26-29..34-35 – Psalm 51 – Matthew 15:21-28

“Then Jesus said 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.” (Matthew 15:28)

At first glance at the Holy Scriptures that are presented to us today we might not come away very encouraged. The first Scripture reading from the Book of Numbers (notice that it really does hop, skip and jump through this 13th chapter) doesn’t give us a very loving picture of God’s desire to lead the people into the Promised Land. So we need to look below the surface to see what God is really doing with His “Chosen People.”

 In the first place He is trying to get them to understand that He is always with them. Remember, they’re the ones who wander around and get into trouble and it’s almost as if He’s saying – like a frustrated parent – “You want to see trouble? I’ll show you trouble!”

 Most of the time, the difficulties that we find ourselves in are the result of our own desire to “do it my way!”

In today’s Holy Gospel it appears that this Canaanite woman is, at first just a bother to Jesus. But she persists and refutes Jesus’ claim that it’s not right to “take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” But she goes on and says, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.”

 Be careful not to miss a couple of important points in this story: this non-Jewish women has some awareness of Jesus and calls Him Lord and only asks for the scrapes of His healing power which gains her Jesus’ response, “O woman, great is your faith … and her daughter was healed from that hour.”

 Once again we are shown that it only takes a faith the size of a mustard seed to experience the healing, loving power of Jesus. Never give up on God! He never gives up on us! Amen!

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