The gospel reading of today tells us about a Canaanite woman of great faith. She begged Jesus to heal her daughter tormented by a demon. The woman was not of Jewish origin; Jews were deemed as the chosen people of God and God will save the nation. She was considered a pagan but that did not stop her from being determined to get help for her daughter and also to show Jesus the strength of the Christian faith. Pagans were treated as outcasts due to their beliefs but that did not stop this woman from seeking an audience with Jesus.
Jesus who is the Messiah and Saviour was humbled in hearing the woman’s great faith in him and it stirred his heart. This stirring of such conviction led to Jesus considering his remark when he replied the woman, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” ( Matthew 15:21-28). It shows that we are in need of conversion in our lives and our Catholic faith that we must open our hearts to God’s word and also to help those that are in need of help. Our relationship with Jesus is through our faith to make the effort to know Jesus through prayer, the mass and confession. These are the milestones and we receive our conversion of becoming a better person through the cleansing of our sins and when we understand God’s message during mass.
The woman was persistent enough as she wanted her child to be healed and was willing to seek God’s help. Jesus never turned the woman away as he knew that he was the Saviour of not one nation but the whole world. It dawned on Jesus that we are all children of God and that everyone should experience God’s divine assistance. If God can accept people despite their social status, can we do the same for our fellow friends who are non-Catholics and Catholics alike? Can we stop judging and give people a chance to be loved as God loves us?
It is true that we are not perfect and Jesus knows that we are sinners. This is the reason he gives us his endless love and mercy that there is always a second chance to repent and not to feel guilty of the sins that we detest. Jesus is the Redeemer of the world and that I pray that there can be a peaceful truce between the on-going violence between Israel and Hamas. War and violence will not lead to any good end results and people should be allowed to practice their own faith and religion and they should not be persecuted. Religion helps us to re-evaluate our lives and do good work.
It is not easy living out our Catholic faith due to the rise of consumerism and materialism as we are easily distracted and our faith gets lost along the way. We can change our ways by increasing our prayer through devotion to Jesus in prayer and also to his mother; Mother Mary intercedes for us and we pick ourselves up again when we falter. Jim Rohn, a famous entrepreneur and author said, ” You must constantly ask yourself these questions: ” Who am I around? What are they doing to me? What have they got me reading? What have they got me saying? What do they have me thinking? And most importantly, what do they have me becoming?Then ask yourself the big question: Is that okay? Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.”
Next week marks the last week of break and the transition into University. For me it is back to the lectures, examinations and books after two years away from them. Things I will miss would be the holidays and free time that I now have. I pray that I can cope with my studies and that I can balance my life with studies. It is going to get busy and I hope that Jesus guides me through it.
God Bless! Continue to pray for fractured nations to find peace and guidance in restoring the livelihood of their people and to prevent innocent lives from being lost.
Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong