August 20, 2017
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Asbestos abatement work began this week in the convent and in the cafeteria. To all those who have had to be flexible in their ministries, thank you. Special thanks goes to Church World Services, our Community Meal volunteers as well as to our various ministries and groups that meet in the convent/school building, and our wonderful staff!
Brad Fischer, our seminarian, left for Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland this Wednesday to begin his second year of Theology. His last Mass with us was our Feast Day Celebration of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Tuesday night, which was a delight! Please keep Brad in your thoughts and prayers.
At the start of Salvation History, God called Abraham, who was to be the father of many nations. Israel was to be the firstborn of a worldwide family of God, made up of all who believe what the Canaanite woman proclaims in today’s Gospel, that Jesus is Lord and Messiah. While Jesus came first to restore the Kingdom to Israel, His ultimate mission was the reconciliation of the whole world, as Paul declares in today’s Epistle. Through this wonderful, humble and persistent Canaanite woman, we see, to the delight of Jesus, what was to eventually come, nothing less than the Gospel being proclaimed and received in every corner of the world.
Most of us are the foreigners, the non-Israelites, about whom today’s First Reading prophesies. Coming to worship the God of Israel, we stand in the line of faith epitomized by the Canaanite woman. Jesus tests her faith three times, just as our faith will be tested at times. First, He refuses to answer her cry. Then, He tells her His mission is only to Israelites. Finally, He calls her a “dog,” an epithet used to disparage non-Israelites. Yet, she persists, believing that He alone offers salvation. “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.” Clearly, she’s been blessed with beautiful humility and unshakable perseverance, qualities that we all should work and pray to obtain. “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish,” says our Lord. She passed the test; will we?
Catechism Question of the Week: Jesus gave the Apostles the authority to do which of the following? A) preach the Kingdom B) heal the sick C) judge the 12 tribes of Israel D) be an unshakeable rock and keep the faith from every lapse (see CCC 551-553)
With family, friends and those you meet, please discuss the following Question of the Week: When you say that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, is it because flesh and blood has revealed it to you? If so, who was this person that revealed it to you? If not flesh and blood, then who? How was it revealed to you?
In Christ’s Peace,