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August 20, 2023

Our Great Journey

Our weekly digital post is designed to share ideas for Living the Gospel at Home. This post is meant to be interactive, so please share ideas, photos and resources that you have tried at home. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the most meaningful.

This weekend, We read about The Persistent Faith of the Canaanite Woman and Healing of her daughter.  Matthew 15:21-28,

So many things happening in this Gospel:

  • The story of this nameless pagan woman would forever be told by Christians as an example of persistence. We see a woman determined not to let her one chance of healing for her daughter pass her by. Motivated by love, she would not let Jesus ignore her or tell her, “No.” Her persistence pays off as she secures the word from Jesus that her daughter would indeed be healed.
  • Jesus’ unresponsiveness to this woman seems uncharacteristic or shocking. Yet in Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus’ ministry is directed primarily to the people of Israel.  The dialogue between Jesus and the woman is very symbolic. Jewish custom required dogs to be kept outside. For a dog to receive table scraps, someone would have taken the scraps outside to the dogs. But in Gentile households, dogs were allowed to be inside the house. The woman insists, again, calling him, “Lord,” and she makes her case that even though she may not have a direct seat at the table, she can still receive from it. At only a very few points, such as the one found in today’s Gospel, do we find Jesus anticipating the later Christian ministry to the rest of the world.
  • Jesus recognizes a great faith in this woman. He shows mercy for her and her daughter, and her daughter is instantly healed from her torment.

Who knows what will happen to us when we open ourselves up to God and allow his Word to work within us? Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB tells us that we will meet strangers and outsiders who interrupt our lives, stop us in our tracks, and force us to ask deeper questions. And we may end up, like Jesus, praising the still greater faith in strangers and outsiders.

Things to talk about:

  • Why is it true that when you really want or need something, it matters how you ask for it?
  • Share a time when you prayed about something you really wanted/needed.
  • Why does Jesus help the woman in today’s Gospel?
  • What does this Gospel teach us about the way we should treat other people?
  • What is my current level of persistence in my prayer life?

Things to do:

  • Turn a wall into a prayer wall with sticky notes. Have each family member write their prayer intentions on sticky notes and put them on the wall.
  • Mercy is the disposition to be kind and forgiving. Be intentional about extending mercy to at least one person this week.

Link to what we pray at Mass:

The Canaanite woman’s plea to Jesus was, “Have pity (or mercy) on me, Lord.” During Mass, we sing or say a prayer with similar words. Which prayer is it?

Remember to register for Our Great Journey.

Sessions begin August 27. We can’t wait to see you.


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