Wednesday – 18th Week in Ordinary Time

Gospel – Matthew 15:21-28

On the Sidelines

At Prayer, Church of Holy Sepulchre

 

There was a point years ago when the Religion department chair position came open and I was definitely interested.  And instead of just going and applying for the job, I spent a good deal of time complaining to anyone who would listen – why doesn’t the principal ask me if I am interested? Talk about timidity!  Finally one of my colleagues pulled me aside and set me straight!  If you want the job, go for it, apply for it and quit sitting on the sidelines and complaining! 

BOLDNESS!  PERSISTENCE!  FAITH!  That is what we see in the Canaanite woman in today’s Gospel.  Let’s face it.  In the Jewish world at the time, everything is against her.  She is female; she is Gentile!  She knows she is fighting an uphill battle to be heard, much less engaged in conversation.  And yet she persists!  She insists on not being ignored!  She had no real expectations that Jesus would respond to her pleas!  And in the end, Jesus praises her for her great faith.  And even though her daughter is quite a ways away, He heals her daughter.  Sounds a bit like the Centurion’s servant, doesn’t it?  Great faith and healing from a distance!

So the question for us today?  How great is our faith?  How persistence is our faith?  How bold is our faith?  Do we just stand on the sidelines and grumble and complain?  Or is our faith active in our words and our actions?  Do we live out our faith in our prayers and in our compassion and love of others? 

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