Posted: 05 Aug 2013 06:30 AM PDT
Today’s Gospel Text: And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and cried, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely possessed by a demon.” 23 But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 26 And he answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 27 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly. Matt 15:21-28
Reflection: When we pray it is not always a situation of hope, especially when we are feeling low and out.
Our experiences of prayer often make us feel that God is far away from us; far removed from our fragile situation.
To add to our woes we end up distracted by our many thoughts and weaknesses.
Our greatest folly in prayer is to have a diffident attitude; one which easily gives up.
The faith that Jesus calls us to have is a dynamic one, which believes in the great possibilities that God can accomplish in his time and according to his purpose and we have never to lose hope.
It is sure faith sown in love by God, the permanent sign of the proof of his love is the cross on which he hung, the cross on which he assured us that he is the savior of the world no matter how big a crime we commit in this life.
He assures us that there is forgiveness with him and that he gives us, not because of our holiness, but according to his great mercy and love for us.
If we still doubt this then we need to learn from the Canaanite woman for whom the ordeal was much worse.
Concerning her state; she was sinful to the core, because she did not believe in the one true God, she was a Canaanite. (vs. 22)
Hence she couldn’t be a candidate to receive God’s mercy and grace; for she did not even belong to the category of the lost sheep of Israel but instead belonged to the category of a dog. (vs. 24, 26)
To add to her woes Jesus remains silent on her first move and still worse, the disciples observing the attitude of the master, even requests him to send her away. (vs. 23)
Despite all the negation of life, she triumphs with her faith, which is perseverance in the face of all odds.
May the Lord strengthen each one of our hearts to persevere and not give up in his presence as we sit to pray.
Prayer: Teach me Lord to persist in the faith that you have blessed me with and never give up.
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Posted: 05 Aug 2013 06:30 AM PDT
Today’s Gospel Text: Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And as he was praying, the appearance of his countenance was altered, and his raiment became dazzling white. 30 And behold, two men talked with him, Moses and Eli’jah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, and when they wakened they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. 33 And as the men were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is well that we are here; let us make three booths, one for you and one for Moses and one for Eli’jah” – not knowing what he said. 34 As he said this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” 36 And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silence and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen. Luke 9:28-36
Reflection: It is a normal trend among most Christians to go by the scripture; Sola Scriptura, i.e. by the written word of God and nothing more and nothing less.
Yet among these are those who may claim to go purely by the word and in many aspects of their interpretation may have their own additional sources to go by.
Then there are some Christians who are Christians only for name sake, who prefer to listen to themselves and make their own judgments about things and will have their own world view which is contrary to the faith.
Yet these may fulfill their Christian obligations either out of pure habit or a false fear of God or could it be a fear of being ostracized from a Christian community.
Surprisingly they will even teach the adherents of the Christ doctrine what to do and what not to do.
Just as the protestants go by the written word of God, likewise Catholics would go purely by what they have inherited from their parents and would listen to men and women authorized to preach.
Some will diligently study the word of God in the light of sound tradition and magisterium which serves these two pillars of faith.
Are we really doing the right thing in all these things by going by these routine acts, the way we go about?
If the starting point of our action is not sowed in obedience to God then all our actions can be wrong and mislead us?