Daily Reflection for Wednesday, August 04, 2021
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Wednesday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Numbers 13: 1-2, 25-14:1, 26a-29a, 34-35
Responsorial: Psalm 106: 6-7ab, 13-14, 21-22, 23
Gospel: Matthew 15: 21-28
Our reflection on Wednesday’s readings:
But soon they forgot all he had done; they had no patience for his plan. Psalm 106:13
Our granddaughter, Lily is 4 and can be stubborn. It seems that when she is being stubborn, her heart hardens to common sense which prevents her from relinquishing her stand. An example of this was seen during a recent visit. Lily wanted to ride bikes with her cousin. She approached her bike, removed her helmet from the handlebars and laid it on the floor. It was immediately suggested that she needed to wear her helmet. The answer was a resounding, “No!” “Well,” I said, “if you don’t wear your helmet, you can’t ride your bike.”
What ensued was Lily attempting to inch her bike towards the street while Grandpa made forward progress difficult. As she protested Grandpa’s resistance, the request to put on her helmet was repeated. Tenaciously, she repeated, “I don’t want to wear my helmet!” Her cousin Cameran, worn by the standoff, came up to Lily and said, “Here, Lily, you can wear my helmet and I can wear yours!” Lily quickly took her cousin’s helmet, and the problem was solved.
In the reading from Numbers, the Israelites had returned from scouting the land that God was providing them. They came back with reports of the fierce stumbling blocks in their way. Defeated before they could even begin, the report of helplessness was spread throughout the camp and permeated the air. Even though God had intervened for them in other overwhelming situations with miracles like parting the Red Sea and providing manna and quail to eat, they could not respond with trust. Their hearts were stubborn and hardened which resulted in the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years.
In the Gospel for today, the Canaanite woman approached Jesus for help for her daughter. Jesus replies with a somewhat stern comment that he was sent for the house of Israel. This woman, recognizing the power before her, requested help again. Jesus again denies help by replying that it is not right to give the food of the children and throw it to the dogs. Her great faith and receptivity to the power of God propelled her to say, “Even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.” (Verse 27) Jesus rewarded her faith by healing her daughter.
I have been both the Israelite and the Canaanite woman. My past is dotted with instances of forgetting the power and grace available to me from God. Now, I am more like the Canaanite woman, persistent in my requests for help. What is astounding to me is that each time I ask and receive God’s grace, I participate in the very life of God! Why do humans resist this?
Is there a situation you are encountering that you need to ask for God’s assistance?
Blessings for the journey!