THE IMPORTANCE OF FAITH
Wednesday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Scriptural Readings: Jeremiah 31: 1-7; Jeremiah 31: 10, 11-12ab, 13; Matthew 15:21-28
My dear encountered couples:
Jesus repeatedly in his teachings emphasized the importance of faith. Without faith, without trust, without confidence in God, all our good works amount to nothing. When hard times come, when sadness closes in upon us, when we are tried to the extreme, when all our prayers don’t seem to be getting any of the answers we would like, it is then that our faith is not only being tested but given the opportunity to grow.
Why does God allow this, why doesn’t he step in and stop that? We see no good rhyme or reason for his allowing many of the things that happen in our lives and that go on throughout the world. The woman in our gospel story saw no good reason for Jesus talking to her as he did. If he was what his reputation said of him, how could he be so cold and uncaring towards her?
“Lord, Son of David, have pity on me! My daughter is terribly troubled by a demon.” The woman was a Canaanite; she was not Jewish. “My mission is only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel,” Jesus told her. Can you imagine him being so unfeeling and prejudiced? “Help me Lord!” she begged. But he answered, “It is not right to take the food of sons and daughters and throw it to the dogs.” How could he say such a thing to her, or to anyone?
“Please Lord,” she wouldn’t give up her faith in him, “even the dogs eat the leavings that fall from their masters’ tables.” Jesus then said in reply, “Woman, you have great faith! Your wish will come to pass.”
The next time Jesus doesn’t seem to be treating you as you might expect, it is your faith he is working on. We are told it was at “that very moment the woman’s daughter got better.”