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Sunday, August 20, 2017

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20th Sunday Ordinary Time

Isaiah 56:1, 6-7
Romans 11:13-15, 29-32
Psalm 67:2-3, 5-6, 8
Matthew 15:21-28

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how much do i want great faith?

"Jesus then said in reply, 'Woman, you have great faith! Your wish will come to pass.' That very moment her daughter got better." —Matthew 15:28

The Lord wants to say to us as He said to the Canaanite woman: "You have great faith." Faith and great faith are graces from God. The grace of great faith has been accepted in many ways, especially through testings. "You may for a time have to suffer the distress of many trials; but this is so that your faith, which is more precious than the passing splendor of fire-tried gold, may by its genuineness lead to praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ appears" (1 Pt 1:6-7). Testings can be God's way of making our faith both genuine and great. Jesus may have been testing the Canaanite woman's faith by initially refusing to speak to her or help her (Mt 15:23ff). The fact that she passed the test may have contributed to her having great faith.

Although the Lord may choose to work through testing our faith, we naturally want to avoid tests because of the suffering involved. However, "we should be grateful to the Lord our God, for putting us to the test, as He did our forefathers" (Jdt 8:25). Today, let us make a decision to accept the grace of great faith no matter what. Let us face the fact that we may have to suffer greatly to have great faith. Let us choose great faith because this is pleasing to the Lord. "Realize that when your faith is tested this makes for endurance. Let endurance come to its perfection so that you may be fully mature and lacking in nothing" (Jas 1:3-4). Will Jesus say to you: "You have great faith"? (Mt 15:28)

Prayer:  Father, may I want Your will more than I want pleasure or freedom from pain.

Promise:  "For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples." —Is 56:7

Praise:  Praise the risen Jesus, Who "has eyes for the just, and ears for their cry" (Ps 34:16).

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 27, 2017

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