TODAY is Sunday, August 16, 2020. This is the 3rd Sunday of the month and the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time of the Catholic Church liturgical calendar.
The Responsorial Psalm this Sunday is, “O God, let all the nations praise you!”
This Sunday’s 1st Reading is from Isaiah (Is) 56:1, 6-7. It says:
Thus says the Lord: Observe what is right, do what is just; for my salvation is about to come, mu justice, about to be revealed.
The foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, ministering to him, loving the name of the Lord, and becoming his servants – all who keep the Sabbath free from profanation and hold to my covenant, them I will bring my holy mountain and make joyful in my house of prayer, their holocausts and sacrifices will be acceptable on my altar, for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.
Today’s 2nd Reading is from Romans 11:13-15, 29-32.
Brothers and sisters, I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I glory in my ministry in order to make my race jealous and thus save some of them. For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
For the gifts and the call of God is irrevocable, just as you once disobeyed God but have now received mercy because of their disobedience, so they have now disobeyed in order that, by virtue of the mercy shown to you, they too, may now receive mercy. For of the mercy shown to you, they too may now receive mercy. For God delivered all to disobedience, that he might have mercy upon all.
This Sunday’s Gospel is from Mathew (Mt) 15:21-28. It details Jesus’ encounter with the Canaanite woman.
At that time, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out, “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon.” But Jesus did not say a word in answer to her. His disciples came and asked him, “Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.” He said in reply, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But the woman came and did him homage, saying: “Lord, help me.” He said in reply, “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Please Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.” Then Jesus said to her in reply, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And the woman’s daughter was healed from that hour.
The gospel talks about God’s mercy for all.
In here Jesus, we may say, puts the faith of the pagan woman to test. He engages her tit for tat, and she wins Jesus over by her persistence and humility. She knows what her being a pagan entails. She does not scream herself hoarse demanding justice or human rights. She simply begs and pleads with Jesus and admits that before him, she is truly nobody and that the recovery of her sick daughter depends on the mercy of God alone.
NB: Our thanks to the St. Paul’s Publication, publisher of the book 365 Daysn with the Lord, a liturgical biblical diary, from where we source the Word of God that we are sharing with our fellow faithful every Sunday all throughout the year. This is our little way of helping spread the gospel.
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