TWENTIETH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
“He who created us will not save us without our consent.”
Sometimes an observation of the behaviors and attitudes of some human beings in our modern world towards their fellow human beings can make one wonder if they were in the position of God what will they do. Some of us even want to think for Him or to direct Him as to what to do. That is why Isaiah 55:8 makes it clearly to man, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways...” Just be human and let God be God.
Unfortunately, salvation history has made it known that the exclusivist Jews have always thought that salvation was their rightful prerogative. No non-Jew will be saved.
Nonetheless, our first reading has rather manifested not only the expansiveness but also the inclusiveness of the membership of non- Jews into the people of God. In the broader context of this prophecy the message was to commiserate and reassure the returnees, which included non-Israelites, of the Babylonian exile that they were accepted into their “True religion.” Yahweh (God) would receive them because everyone had a part to play in the Divine plan in as much as they were ready and willing.
As Christians we are motivated to open ourselves to God, to obey His commandments and be ready to have a covenantal relationship with Him. It does not matter our background, story line or our sinful situation but our acceptance of Him as our creator and God, and readiness to convert to do His will. So, the love of God, the mercy of God and the salvation of God never discriminate against race, culture, ethnicity, politics, etc. The universality of the Divine plan and purpose welcomes all.
Hence, the reiteration of the Psalmist, “So may your ways be known upon the earth; among all nations, your salvation… O God, let all nations praise you!” (Psalm 67:3-4)
Apostle Paul, in our second reading, expresses his impressions about the obstinacy of the Jews to accept Jesus which has rather positively resulted into the Divine invitation of all people into the Covenant. Their rejection has brought reconciliation of the world. This has led the pagans and the gentiles to be reconciled to God including you and I. Thus, we have the task of praying for all those who still need to convert in our families, societies and the world at large.
To conclude, our gospel reading gives us a model of the expression of faith and trust in Jesus Christ by a gentile woman (a pagan/non-Jew). Her persistence and unrelenting faith rewarded her the answer to her request from Jesus. She did not allow religion, limitation, perception, inadequacy, position, qualification, barriers, bashfulness or even the testing sarcasm of Jesus to deter her from achieving her goal of seeking deliverance (liberation) for her demonic-possessed-daughter. Such should be the deportment of every Christ in our faith journey and prayer life. Do not allow anything to be an obstacle to your salvation. Your salvation is in your own hands!
Stay Healthy… PRAY… Keep the Faith… Fall is just around the corner, are you ready? Let us meet in Church….
Let the PLAN OF GOD lead…
Fr. Emmanuel hails from Ghana and is passionate about the Gospel and bringing the love of Christ to all people. He speaks several languages, enjoys soccer and cooking, and loves St. Francis of Assisi.