Reflection for 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

St. Pius X | News
16 Aug 2020

At the heart of the Gospel is a lively exchange between Jesus and a Canaanite woman of great faith, who suffers so much from the illness of her daughter.  Totally convinced that Jesus can be of assistance in her hopeless situation she comes forward, kneels at his feet and asks for her daughter to be cured.  At first Jesus seems reluctant to have anything to do with her and keeps her at arm’s length, but the woman persists, refusing to take no for an answer.  Her prayer of faith wins through and in the end, she gets what she so desperately needs.  This is one of the rare occasions when we find Jesus in conversation with a woman who is not only a Gentile and a pagan but belongs to a nation noted for its traditional hostility to the Jewish people.  Nevertheless, Jesus does not regard this as an obstacle.  He puts her faith to the test and grants her request because she has shown more trust in him than his own people.  The reality is that Jesus’ whole mission is to break down barriers and to remove walls of division and prejudice between Jew and Gentile.  This gospel confronts us with our own tendency to cause conflict by promoting exclusiveness.  Many of us are biased against people simply because their political and religious outlook differs from our own.  We fail to remember that no seats are reserved in heaven for any particular following.  In a church-going community everyone should be made welcome no matter how they may be dressed, how un-attractive they may be and how low in esteem society may hold them.  The good news is that everyone can call upon God in their need and receive his mercy because, unlike us, he has time for everybody.