READINGS for 2006-08-09

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



?O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.? ? Matthew 15:28

I believe that every day I?m surrounded with blessings from God. You and I are veritably swimming in an ocean of blessing, and we don?t know it! People are lacking in joy, desperate for peace, in need of hope?and they live like beggars each day even if an ocean of joy, peace, and hope surrounds them.
      Everyday, I wake up with this core belief: I will receive abundant blessing from God today. Because I?m convinced that God is a blesser. Twenty-four hours a day, He thinks of ways to bless you and me.
      Imagine how that core belief will shape the kind of day I?ll have! I may actually have more problems than the person next to me, but that belief alone can change the way I look at those problems. That?s how powerful beliefs are!
      Sometimes though, our beliefs are dead wrong. But they are powerful nonetheless, and they can prevent God?s blessings from flowing into our lives.  Don?t let that happen to you. Bo S.

Do you believe God is stingy?or extremely generous? How you answer this question will determine your experience of God.

Lord, I open my life to the wealth of blessings in the universe. I open my life to the abundance that You wish to pour into my life!



Jeremiah 31:1-7

The concept of the remnant of Israel is one that St. Paul will later use in applying it to those Jews who believe in Jesus. Here it refers to the few who remain faithful to the Law of God and obedient to His prophets. It is through them that the Lord will continue to work and bless His people. It is this faithful remnant which will be the constant reminder to others of the faithfulness of the Lord to His promises.

1 At that time, says the LORD, ?I will be the God of all the tribes of Israel, and they shall be my people.? 2 Thus says the LORD: ?The people that escaped the sword have found favor in the desert.? As Israel comes forward to be given his rest, 3 the LORD appears to him from afar with age-old love I have loved you; so I have kept my mercy toward you. 4 Again I will restore you, and you shall be rebuilt, O virgin Israel; carrying your festive tambourines, you shall go forth dancing with the merrymakers. 5 Again you shall plant vineyards on the mountains of Samaria; those who plant them shall enjoy the fruits. 6 Yes, a day will come when the watchmen will call out on Mount Ephraim ?Rise up, let us go to Zion, to the LORD, our God.? 7 For thus says the LORD: Shout with joy for Jacob, exult at the head of the nations; proclaim your praise and say: The LORD has delivered his people, the remnant of Israel.


Jeremiah 31:10, 11-12, 13

R: The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.

10 Hear the word of the LORD, O nations, proclaim it on distant isles, and say:   He who scattered Israel, now gathers them together, he guards them as a shepherd   his flock. (R) 11 The LORD shall ransom Jacob, he shall redeem   him from the hand of his conqueror. 12 Shouting, they shall mount the heights   of Zion, they shall come streaming to the LORD?s blessings. (R)  13 Then the virgins shall make merry and dance, and young men and old as well.  I will turn their mourning into joy, I will console and gladden them after their sorrows. (R)


Matthew 15:21-28

Jesus usually looks for faith in those who come seeking something from Him. He is always disposed to give them what they request if they ask with faith. Desire is not enough. It is faith that can move mountains. Let us seek to grow in faith and trust in the Lord?s promises to us. As the desires of our hearts come into greater conformity with His desires for us, we will discover that the Lord will give us what we really want.

21 Then Jesus went from that place and withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out, ?Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon.? 23 But he did not say a word in answer to her. His disciples came and asked him, ?Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.? 24 He said in reply, ?I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.? 25 But the woman came and did him homage, saying, ?Lord, help me.? 26 He said in reply, ?It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.? 27 She said, ?Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.? 28 Then Jesus said to her 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.

my reflections
Let us seek to grow in faith and trust in the Lord?s promises to us. As the desires of our hearts come into greater conformity with His desires for us, we will discover that the Lord will give us what we really want.



God?s special verse/thought for me today________________


Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________





Nancy Astor, though born in the United States, was the first woman to belong to the British House of Commons in 1919. Majority of the British parliament were hostile to her. The reason for this unfriendly attitude was not her being an American but her regularly interrupting other speakers. It was her way of making her presence felt in the House. She always had something to say, especially on issues involving women?s rights. Once rebuked for her unceasing interventions, she objected saying, ?But I have been listening for hours before interrupting!? A fellow legislator whispered to her, ?Yes, Nancy, we have all heard you listening.?
      Today, we hear another woman listening and making her presence felt. She is a Canaanite; therefore, not a Jew; a pagan; therefore, unclean. She is the only person in the Gospels who has the wit to outwit Jesus.
      In today?s Gospel, Jesus is leaving Jewish territory. He withdraws from His opponents who keep on criticizing Him for allowing His disciples to break many Jewish traditions. But here comes a Canaanite, a pagan, an unclean person who pleads for her daughter?s healing. If Jesus is trying to escape from His problem with the ?clean,? He now comes face to face with the same question in larger form. This is not a lesson for Jesus. It is for you and me.
      It is not right to consider some people as being outside our pastoral concern. Jesus came to save all men and women, Jews and Gentiles, circumcised and uncircumcised. The early Christians had to learn this early as the first council they convoked was to resolve the issue regarding imposing ritual cleanliness by circumcision upon the Gentile converts. That was the Council of Jerusalem whose proceedings can be read in the Acts of the Apostles. The Gospel today seems to be written in support of their discernment: If we believe that Jesus Christ died for everyone, then no one is a dog. No one should be excluded from the all-embracing reach of God?s love.
      The Canaanite woman in the Gospel today is very important for us who serve God. She is the voice of God that questions us. She interrupts us from our rhetoric about service and love of God. She has been listening for years already. Have we heard her listening? Fr. Bobby T.

Whom have I treated like a dog?

Father of us all, believers and unbelievers, forgive us for shoving others from the reach of Your love. Forgive us for looking down on others outside our fold. Forgive us for making them feel that they are ?outsiders? and have no right to gain access to You. Have mercy on us and make us one. Amen.

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, martyr, pray for us.

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