Sunday August 17 2014
Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Isaiah 56:1, 6-7
The first reading from the prophet Isaiah, we hear a message about God’s intention to have a select people. Israel was centered around their identity of their faith and inheritance as God’s chosen people. At this time in history, Israel has returned from exile, and the people of God were more prepared to hear about God’s people outside of their nation. The reading ends with the opportunity for all people.
Sometimes we hold back the faith from others because we don’t think they want it or are ready for it, but God wants to share His covenant with all people, and it requires our willingness to share with those around us.
Psalms 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8
R. (12a) Create a clean heart in me, O God.
Romans 11:13-15, 29-32
This week’s second reading from the letter to the Romans is a powerful message, but it can easily be lost in the convoluted structure of the sentences. Even though some of the Jews has rejected Jesus, He asserts that their final conversion will be necessary. This is not a condemnation of the Jews, but St Paul speaks with hope that they will see what the Gentiles have found and then want to have a part in it too. St Paul uses the strong word “irrevocable” when referring to the status of the Jews as the people of God, but this is also a God’s love is free and open to all that necessitates a choice of Jesus as Lord.
This week’s Gospel from St. Matthew makes Jesus sounds somewhat harsh in the beginning. At first, a Canaanite woman came and asked for a favor from Jesus, but he announces that He has come to save the people of God, Israel. This woman is deeply troubled by the demonic posession of her daughter and has seen the deep, and important need for the Lord. She is convicted and believes that Jesus can save her.
Her simple plea “Lord, help me,” bends the ear of Jesus, and the her humility before Him is what finally convinces Him of her belief. This is one of the powerful miracles that happened so dramatically that Jesus wasn’t even physically present in the same room when He commanded it. This is another instance of when the Lord shows that His mercy goes beyond Israel.
A reflection from Bishop Vásquez
With nine words Jesus instantly cures the daughter of the persistent woman in today’s Gospel, “Let it be done for you as you wish.” Words, put together the right way, can be very powerful. Do you choose your words carefully, with sensitivity and love?
Have a blessed week.
Ignite – Soundwave soundwave.cc
Background Music This Week