Overcoming Through Persistence and Faith
August 20, 2023:
12th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Readings: Isaiah 56:1-7
Romans 11:13-15, 29-32
Matthew 15: 21-28
We are privileged to be God’s people that we would be taught by Christ Himself so that we can live a full life. 1 Corinthians 10:26 “For the earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains.” We need to acknowledge that God owns everything and that Christ is the only hope. How blessed we are that God would become one with us by sending His only Son, Jesus Christ for us to be restored back to Him. He was willing to sacrifice His own Son to save all of mankind- not just the Jews but to the gentiles. For every single one of us. Many miracles were taking place after Jesus was baptized and empowered by the Holy Spirit. But unfortunately, the Jews did not believe in Him. They had rejected the Messiah. So he left Israel to go to Tyre and Sidon, which were considered enemies of the Jews. The children of Israel were chosen to be the messengers and witnesses of God but they had rejected Christ. Matthew 10:14 “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.”
Here is a principle set by Christ. If people reject you or do not receive you, leave. You have done your part. You have planted the seed.
In the Gospel today, there was a Canaanite woman who came to Jesus because her daughter was demon-possessed. She had heard of the great works that He has done. Isn’t this telling us something? Here was a gentile, a non-Jew, considered to be an “enemy,” and yet she came to Jesus in an hour of need. In times of emergency, people who are considered “enemies” will come to Christ. Satan has no right to possess the daughter of the woman. He has no right to harm us either. We belong to Christ. The woman cried out to Christ and even addressed Him as Lord but He remained silent. The disciples came to him urging, “Please send this annoying woman away. However, the woman was insistent. She did not give up. She knelt before the Lord and cried out to Him to help her, to save her daughter. He answered: “It is not good for me to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” “Yes,” she continued, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the master’s table.” The woman was not intimidated. She was determined. She had only one goal that needed to be accomplished- the healing of her daughter. No other thing mattered. And Jesus said, “Woman, what great faith you have.” At that very moment, the daughter was healed.
Today, we are Christ’s ambassadors. We are to be His witnesses to show God’s love to the world. What Christ has promised us, He will do. He has placed in us, his fullness. Healing, peace, security, joy, everything that pertains to life and godliness belongs to us. Philippians 3:2 “Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision.” The woman had a great need. It caused her to rise up above the situation. Many times, we give up or we give in to difficulties when we should not. Isaiah 49:6 he says: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”
We may be in the midst of darkness right now but we should not give up. The woman’s persistence and faith made her overcome the situation. Isaiah 40:31 “but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”