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"FAITH BOOK" offers Mini-reflections on the Sunday scripture readings designed for persons on the run.  "Faith Book" is also brief enough to be posted in the Sunday parish bulletins people take home.

Faith Book

20th SUNDAY in Ordinary Time (A) August 20, 2017

Isaiah 56: 6-7; Psalm 67; Romans 11: 13-15, 29-32; Matthew 15: 21-28

by Jude Siciliano, OP

From today’s Gospel reading:

And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district [Tyre and Sidon] came and called out, "Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David!"...

Then Jesus said to her in reply,

"O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish."

And the woman’s daughter was healed from that hour.


Jesus was criticized by the Pharisees for his lack of strict observance of religious customs and traditions. He responded by calling them hypocrites who only pay lip service to God. In contrast, Jesus praised the pagan Canaanite woman for having great faith. So, who are the truly pious and observant in Jesus’ eyes? Those who see in him God’s gracious desire to heal, forgive and welcome to the table.

So we ask ourselves:

  • Who are the "Canaanites" in our society, those we would push aside as unimportant and second class?
  • Is it possible that in listening to them we might hear God speaking to us?
  • Have I ever discovered God in surprising ways and in the most unusual people?

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