HOMILY FOR THE 20TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR A.
THEME: The Canaanite woman debates with Jesus and saves her daughter.
BY: Fr Deotacious Chikontwe SMA.
*READINGS OF THE DAY*
Good morning dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time of Year A. Today’s readings speak to us strongly about universal salvation: the hope that every person will be saved.
*FROM OUR FIRST READING*
The Prophet Isaiah in today’s first reading speaks of God’s salvation for all those who honor the name of God, joining themselves to the Lord and becoming His servants. This was a huge breakthrough in the history of understanding God’s love for us. Even those who were not “the chosen people” could be saved. This insight continues to be developed even in our own time. What a joy it is to live in a time when we can believe that Hindus, Moslems, Buddhists and all other believers in many systems of “religion” can be saved! We are encouraged to have respect for all such “religious systems” and to particularly respect all who seek truth in any form at all.
*FROM OUR SECOND READING*
The second reading of today, is very clear: all have been handed over to disobedience! All of us have sinned. We are all guilty of turning against God. Paul does not say this to make us feel bad. He is not into putting a guilt trip on us. Rather, he is simply expressing the truth as he finds it: humans are sinners! Humans are always betraying one another. Humans want to do good and end up doing that which is not good. This is his experience and also the experience of all of us.
*FROM OUR GOSPEL READING*
In fact, as shown by our Gospel passage today, even the so-called pagans are even more committed, faithful and dedicated than the ones who called themselves God’s chosen people. In this passage, we heard of the interactions between our Lord Jesus, His disciples and a Canaanite woman who pleaded with the Lord to heal her daughter that had been tormented by a demon. Despite the Lord clearly having pointed out that He was only sent to the lost sheep of the chosen people of God, the Israelites, but the woman persisted in her pleading and trust in the Lord, that despite the harsh words and replies which she had received, she still trusted in the Lord wholeheartedly and persisted in asking Him to heal her daughter. Though initially hesitant, Jesus praises her great faith. Her daughter is healed instantly.
In our daily lives we meet people at times who seem to have no obvious faith and yet seem to trust more in God than we do! We meet people who have other religious systems and have given their lives over completely to the teachings of those systems, while we are lukewarm in our faith in Christ. This is exactly Jesus point: What great faith we find in others!!
May our own faith grow as we reflect on these readings! May we grow in our respect and love for others who do not share our faith. May we find ways to speak about our own faith so that others may understand the incredible power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
I wish you a Blessed Sunday, God bless you.
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