Project Description

20A

Isaiah 56:1, 6-7 / Romans 11:13-15, 29-32 / Matthew 15:21-28

 

One of my best friends is

a principal at a public school in the area. . . .

 

and you can imagine the stress

they’re all undergoing right now.

 

Plans change by the day. . .

 

In-class instruction?. . . .

 

virtual learning?. . . .

 

Concern over their own safety?. . . .

 

and just the personal stress that

everyone is feeling.

 

Well, this past week the faculty and

staff at my friend’s school

gathered together. . . .

 

And sensing all of this anxiety

The organizers ditched their plans

And concentrated on just three questions

for them to discuss and

share their answers with each other.

 

Discussing and answering these questions

turned out to be somewhat healing for them.

 

So, I thought we would start out

with those three questions.

 

Question 1. . . .

 

What is something that you

were grateful for this past week?

 

Question 2. . . .

 

Who have you helped out this week

and how did you help them out?

 

Question 3. . . .

 

What are you looking forward

to this coming week?

 

Great questions aren’t they!!!!

 

 

Even though these questions aren’t explicitly Christian,

they are certainly based on Gospel principles.

 

To be grateful for the light that shines in the darkness. . . .

 

That true human joy and fulfillment

comes from imitating Jesus and

offering ourselves for others. . . .

 

And hope, not only for the long term

future but for some blessing that

will come as soon as next week.

 

What is something that you

were grateful for this past week?

 

Who have you helped out this week

and how did you help them out?

 

What are you looking forward

to this coming week?

 

You know,

the Bible is all in the Mass and

the Mass is all in the Bible.

 

It starts in the Introductory Rites

when we make the sign of the cross

and said . . . .

 

“In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

 

That comes directly from Jesus’ great commission:

 

 

Go, therefore,

and make disciples of all nations,

baptizing them in the name of the Father,

and of the Son,

and of the Holy Spirit.  . . . .

 

Matthew 28:19

 

And then,

The Lord be with you. . .

and with your spirit.

 

Comes directly from St. Paul

in 2 Timothy 4:22.

 

And as we prepare ourselves

to take Holy Communion—

what do we say?

Lord I am not worthy that you

should enter under my roof,

but only say the word and

my soul shall be healed.

 

That comes directly Roman Centurion

who asks Jesus to

heal his paralyzed servant and says:

 

“Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter

under my roof;

only say the word and

my servant will be healed.”   (Matthew 8:8)

 

And there’s the Gloria. . . .

 

And the Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy. . .

 

And the words of institution. . . .

 

It goes on and on and on . . .

 

the Bible is all in the Mass and

the Mass is all in the Bible.

 

 

And something that we say at every Mass,

comes directly from the lips of

the Canaanite woman

in today’s Gospel.

 

“Kyrie Eleison”

 

That’s how the woman’s cry is recorded

in the Greek New Testament. . .

“Kyrie Eleison”

 

Translated in today’s reading today as:

“Have pity on me. Lord”

 

“Kyrie Eleison”

 

Translated in the Penitential Rite as

“Lord have mercy”

 

Well, this Canaanite woman is not only a great example

for us not only in asking for God’s help—

asking for God’s mercy. . . .

 

but in another very important way

that is essential to the Christian spiritual life.

 

To get what this is we need a little context.

 

Jesus has traveled out of the land of Judah

and gone up to Gentile territory—

the land of Tyre and Sidon.

 

And this Canaanite woman comes up to him.

 

Now when the Jews first came

into the Holy Land,

the Bible portrays the Canaanites

as their chief adversary.

 

And not only that,

to the Jew,

the Canaanites were the

icons of wickedness.

 

 

They worshipped false gods. . . .

 

They were immoral. . .

 

They were even known to

sacrifice their children to their false gods.

 

So you have that going on one level.

 

And on another level,

was that there is a chronological order

to salvation history.

 

First, the Good News of salvation

Preached to the Jews

And the coming of the Messiah. . . .

 

and then they the Israelites were to take

that Good News of salvation

to the rest of the world.

 

First to the Chosen people. . . .

and then the Chosen people

to the rest of the world.

 

This was going on at another level.

 

That’s why the disciples were

so eager to send her away.

 

But Jesus didn’t send her away. . . .

 

Jesus knew her faith. . . .

Jesus knew how this would play out. . .  .

 

He wanted to use her as

an example for all of us to follow.

 

He knew her response. . . .

 

So Jesus starts out with the common

Jewish line concerning the Gentiles.

 

“I was sent only to the

lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

But the Canaanite woman persists.

 

She kneels in front of Him and

says, “Lord, help me.”

 

Jesus continues with the Jewish common line. . . .

 

“It is not right to take the food of the children

and throw it to the dogs.”

 

“Dogs” was what Jews called Gentiles,

especially the Canaanites.

 

Jesus knew her faith—

He knew she would still persist.

 

“Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps

that fall from the table of their masters.”

 

And then Jesus says,

 

“O woman, great is your faith!

Let it be done for you as you wish.”

 

Can you imagine the shock of the disciples

when Jesus did this.

 

He turned the expectations of

How we think things should be

upside down again and again.

 

And in the meantime

allowing this Canaanite woman

to be the icon of faith and

one who persists in prayer.

 

Great Gospel isn’t it!!!

 

So today we are left with some great questions

to help us get through some challenging times.

 

 

What is something that you

were grateful for this past week?

 

 

Who have you helped out this week

and how did you help them out?

 

What are you looking forward

to this coming week?

 

And how can I be more like this Canaanite woman

in these challenging times?

 

Holy Spirit 08/15-16/2020