LECTIO DIVINA: XX Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A

the-Canaanite-Woman’s-Faith-Matthew-15-22-28

Translated by Fray Dunstan Huberto Decena, OAR

Mt. 15:21-28

A. INVOCATION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

WE INVOKE THE HOLY SPIRIT USING THE WORDS OF ST. AUGUSTINE

Come, Holy Spirit, by whom every devout soul, who believes in Christ, is sanctified to become a citizen of the City of God! (en. Ps. 45:8) Come, Holy Spirit, grant that we receive the motions of God; put in us your flame; enlighten us and raise us up to God (s. 128, 4). Amen.

B. LECTIO

WITH THE HEART WELL DISPOSED, WITH SERENITY, READ SLOWLY THE FOLLOWING WORDS, SAVORING THEM AND ALLOWING YOURSELF TO BE TOUCHED BY THEM.

Then Jesus went from that place and 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 he 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 her daughter was healed from that hour.

C. MEDITATIO

LET US MEDITATE NOW WITH THE COMMENTARY OF ST. AUGUSTINE ON THESE WORDS OF THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. MATTHEW.

“Actually, the Lord replied to that insistent woman: “It is not right to take the bread of the children and throw it to the dogs. You are a dog, a gentile, you adore idols.” Is there anything more habitual for a dog than to lick stones? Therefore, It is not right to take the bread from the children and throw it to the dogs. If she, upon receiving such an answer, went away she would have approached as a dog and would have retreated as a dog; but knocking at the door, from a dog she became human. She insisted in her request and, in what seemed an insult, she demonstrated her humility and obtained mercy.

Thus, she did not change, she was not provoked to anger, because upon asking for a favor and begging for mercy, he called her dog, and replied thus Yes, it is, Lord. You called me a dog; I accept that I am, I accept this epithet as mine; what you said is true. But this does not exclude me from the favor. Without doubt I am a dog, but even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from their master’s table. I desire a favor small and insignificant; I do not climb the table, I only look for scraps.

See, how she encourages us towards humility. The Lord had called her dog, but she did not say “no, I’m not”, rather “yes, I am.” And for having acknowledged that she was a dog, immediately the Lord said to her: Oh, woman, great is your faith. Let it be done to you as you have asked. You recognized dog, I now recognize you as human. Oh, woman, how great is your faith. You asked, you sought, you knocked at the door; now receive, find, let them open to you. See, brothers, how in this woman who was Canaanite, of gentile origin, and type, i.e., a figure of the Church, humility above all is recommended. Truly, being excluded from the Gospel, the Jewish people became bloated with pride for having merited to receive the Law, because from their race came the Patriarchs, among them existed the prophets, because God’s servant Moses performed great miracles in Egypt that we heard in reciting the Psalm, led the people in the midst of the Red Sea when the waters receded, received the Law that God had given to this people. The Jewish people had motives for vainglory, but this pride led them not to humble themselves before Christ, the author of humility, conqueror of pride, God Healer, that is why he became man, despite being God: that man may recognize himself as man. Magnificent medicine! If this medicine does not cure pride, I do not know what can cure it” (s. 77, 10-11).

D. ORATIO

WITH THE TEXT, LET US NOW PRAY FROM THE DEPTHS OF OUR HEART. I SUGGEST THE FOLLOWING PHRASES AND QUESTIONS THAT CAN AWAKEN IN YOU DIALOGUE WITH GOD, AND AT THE SAME TIME CAN GIVE RISE TO AFFECTIONS AND SENTIMENTS IN YOUR DIALOGUE WITH GOD. DO NOT MOVE TO THE NEXT PHRASE OR QUESTION IF YOU CAN STILL CONTINUE DIALOGUING WITH GOD IN ONE OF THEM. IT IS NOT A MATTER OF EXHAUSTING THE LIST, BUT OF HELPING YOU TO PRAY WITH SOME POINTS THAT BETTER FIT YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE.

a. “Woman, great is your faith: let it be done to you as you wish” (Mt. 15:28). •How is your faith in Christ?

•What can you do to increase your faith?

b. “She insisted in her request and, in what seemed to be an insult, she showed her humility and obtained mercy”

•How is your prayer? Do you persevere or are you quickly discouraged? •Why is it important to be humble to obtain mercy?

c. Pray with the phrase: “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David” (Mt. 15:22).

E. CONTEMPLATIO

I PROPOSE TO YOU SOME POINTS FOR AFFECTIVE INTERIOR CONTEMPLATION. ONCE AGAIN, YOU NEED NOT FOLLOW ALL OF IT, RATHER YOU CAN CHOOSE WHAT FITS YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE.

a. Contemplate how the Canaanite woman came shouting behind Jesus, and how Jesus does not detain himself, and that the disciples had to ask him to listen to the woman. Contemplate the dialogue between Jesus and the Canaanite, her humility, and how she obtained what she asked from Jesus. Contemplate and adore.

b. Contemplate and imagine that you were the Canaanite woman. That you cry out to Jesus, but he does not detain himself, and apparently he does not hear you. Contemplate how you insist, and how finally Jesus turns toward you and asks what you wish. Contemplate the face of Christ and learn how to be humble in his presence. With humility present your petitions and your prayer in the presence of Christ. Contemplate and open you heart, with simplicity before Christ.

F. COMMUNICATIO

THINK OF EVERYTHING THAT YOU CAN SHARE WITH THOSE AROUND YOU ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE YOU HAD WITH GOD, ESPECIALLY CONCERNING THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST AND THE UNIVERSAL JUDGMENT. THE FOLLOWING POINTS CAN HELP YOU AS GUIDE TO SHARE WITH YOUR COMMUNITY THE EXPERIENCE OF THE LECTIO DIVINA ON THIS TEXT.

  • What have I discovered about God and about myself in this moment of prayer?
  • How can I apply this text of Scripture at this moment of my life? What light does it give me? What challenges does it put before me?
  • What concrete commitment does this text of Scripture ask of me in my spiritual life, in my community life?
  • What has been my predominant sentiment during this moment of prayer?

G. FINAL PRAYER OF ST. AUGUSTINE Turning towards the Lord: Lord God, Father Almighty, with a pure heart, as far as our littleness permits, allow us to give you our most devoted and sincere thanks, begging with all our strength from your particular goodness, that by your power you may drive away the enemy from all our thoughts and actions; that you may increase our faith, govern our mind, give us spiritual thoughts, and bring us to your happiness, through your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord, who with you lives and reigns, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen (en, Ps. 150:8).

“This Canaanite woman, whom the Gospel reading just now recommends to us, offers us an example of humility and a path of piety. She teaches us to climb from humility to the height” (s. 77,1).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Fray Dunstan Huberto Decena, OAR

Fray Hubert Dunstan Decena, OAR

Priest/Religious/Bible Professor of the Order of Augustinian Recollects in the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno.

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< 2021 >
March
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 1
  • All day
    March 1, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Lourdes Tablizo, AR
    Sr. Constancia Buchan, AR
    Sis. Marissa Molina, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Khia Queen Taiza (RAY-Calubang)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Ma. Teresa de Jesus, AR
    +Sis. Susan Bermil, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

2
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    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Charina Mae Ogario, AR
    Sis. Merlinda Buada, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Karl Canaria (RAY-Talisay)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Bro. Luis Clauor Jr., SAR (Bacolod Chapter)

3
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    24rd ANNIVERSARY OF THE PROVINCE’S PRENOVITIATE PROGRAM

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Emeterio Buñao
    Fray Andrie Pugate
    Sr. Felisa Ampasin, AR
    Sr. Josephine Facinabao, AR
    Sis. Marina Yang, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Dolores Villas, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Teodora de la Natividad, AR
    +Sis. Angelita Quero, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

4
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    March 4, 2021

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR VOCATIONS (cf. LAMP 5c)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Araceli Angeles, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Lucila Garcia, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Thelma Geroy, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Ma. Celina Magcauas, AR
    +Sis. Josefina Cedeño, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Sis. Esperanza Bacus, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

5
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    March 5, 2021

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO IRAQ DAY 1
    -Official Welcome and Visit with Civil Authorities (in Baghdad)
    -Meeting with Priests and Religious Groups

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Nelly Marfil, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Teodorica de Natividad, AR

6
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    March 6, 2021

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO IRAQ DAY 2
    -Visit to Najaf
    -Mass in Baghdad

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Randolph Castulo Castillo, Jr.
    Sr. Rosalia Aparece, AR
    Sr. Ma. Corazon Caberte, AR
    Sr. Ridelia Tinga, AR
    Sis. Marybeth Publico, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Rosalina Toledo, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Josefina Rodriguez, AR
    +Sis. Rosemary Delapaz, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    +Mrs. Leonila Dosado (Sister General of the Order)

7
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    THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO IRAQ DAY 3
    -Visit to Erbil and to Mosu
    -Meeting with community in Qaraqosh
    -Holy Mass in Erbil

    BIRTHDAY
    Bro. Jayzl Nebre, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Bro. Feliciano Nario Jr., SAR (Baguio Chapter)

8
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    March 8, 2021

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO IRAQ DAY 4
    -Farewell Ceremony & Departure for Rome

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Beta Oida, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Roceline Bernal (RAY-Cavite)
    James Ynnoh Molina (RAY-Miranila)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Ma. Rita de la Cruz, AR
    +Sr. Ma. Guadalupe Siroy, AR
    +Sr. Ma. Natalia Oliver, AR

9
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    BIRTHDAY
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    Sr. Merlyn Pelarion, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Faustina Almanza Nirza, AR

10
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    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Keneth Pahamutang
    Fray Ifeanyichukwu Maximillian Omem
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    Sis. Na. Lourdes Espinos, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Choleta Jalandra, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

11
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    BIRTHDAY
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    Sr. Maria Jasmin Lumanog, AR

12
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    BIRTHDAY
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    Mo. Dionisia Talangapaz+ (Foundress of the AR Sisters)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Inocencia Beringuel, AR

13
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    8TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ELECTION OF POPE FRANCIS (2013-2021)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Digna Araña, AR
    Sr. Ma. Nicelina Rodriguez, AR
    Sis. M. Cristina Galang, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Adelina Belandres, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Cyrine Julianne Singson (RAY-Cavite)
    Aaron Kristopher Lim (RAY-San Carlos)

14
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    FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT

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    Sr. Ma. Clara Flores, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Lucia Ruiz, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Sis. Leonila Buhain, SAR (Cavite Chapter)

15
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    START OF THE GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY WEEK CELEBRATIONS – OUR LADY OF PEACE & GOOD VOYAGE, TONDO

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    Fray Giovanni Gil Magbojos
    Sr. Rosielyn Hijastro, AR
    Sis. Marlyn Opo-an, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Milagros Calipay, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Enrique Jerome Garcia (RAY-Cavite)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Visitacion B. Visitacion, AR
    +Sis. Lourdes Luna, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)

16
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    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Maria Carmeta Suiza, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

17
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    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Ma. Jesus Lastimado, AR

18
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    INSTALLATION OF FRAY JOSEPH CYPRIAN J. PANALIGAN, OAR
    as the new Parish Priest of Our Lay of Mt. Carmel Parish-Recoletos, Cebu City

19
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    March 19, 2021

    SOLEMNITY OF ST. JOSEPH, HUSBAND OF MARY and PATRON OF THE ORDER

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE SICK (cf. LAMP 5c) 8TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE INSTALLATION OF POPE FRANCIS (2013-2021)

    64TH PARISH FIESTA of St. Joseph Parish / Xiaogang, Kaohsiung (Taiwan)
    Time: 8:00 p.m.
    Mass Presider: Most Rev. Peter Liu, DD

    USJ-R: PATRONAL FIESTA OF ST. JOSEPH

    BIRTHDAY
    Archbp. Jose Palma, D.D. (Archbishop of Cebu)
    Sis. Eleanor Almenanza, SAR (Cavite Chapter)
    Sis. Jessica Bacaltos, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Marian Sigrid Escobar (RAY-Bacolod)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE & SOLEMN PROFESSIONS
    Sr. Shirley Nonato, OAR (Bacolod Monastery)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Trinidad de la Purisima Concepcion, AR
    +Sis. Enriquieta Oamilda, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Bro. Gonzalo Pañares, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

20
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    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Roweno Eugenio Hamo
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    Sis. Salvacion Manalon, SAR (Inagawan Chapter)
    Earl Vincent Blaza (RAY-Miranila)

21
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    March 21, 2021

    FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT

    BIRTHDAY
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22
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    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Grace Katada, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Sis. Rose Mary Chua, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Felicitas Aquino, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Sis. Lina Ferrer, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

23
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    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Teodulo Hayahay
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    Sis. Leonila del Rosario, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Fe Josefa Asuncion, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Nichole Cabamo (RAY-Laray)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Cecilia Salgado, AR

24
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    March 24, 2021

    CEAP SUPERINTENDENTS COMMISSION ONLINE MID-YEAR ASSEMBLY
    Theme: “Sustaining Catholic Education: Restoring Hope Towards A Transformative Future”

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Christopher Gaspar
    Sis. Hedelita Diaz, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Clemencia Luces, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

25
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    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Anunciacion Yballe, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Ann Marjorie Ricarte (Trial / Cebu Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Purificacion del Espiritu Santo, AR
    +Sr. Magdalena Salgado, AR

26
  • All day
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    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Gloria Mempin, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Felicitas Calopez, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

27
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    March 27, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Bro. Edward de Silva, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Bro. Samuel Celerino Favila, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Sis. Josefina Magalit, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Aira Joy Legaspi (RAY-Talisay)

28
  • All day
    March 28, 2021

    PALM SUNDAY

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE MISSIONS (cf. LAMP 5c) EARTH HOUR (cf. LAMP 52)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Agustina Santos, AR
    Sr. Dorothy Aguila, AR
    Sis. Virginia Lazaro, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Bro. Reynaldo Aparicio, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Lolita Jara, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Gregoria de San Jose, AR

29
  • All day
    March 29, 2021

    PRESBYTERAL ANNIVERSARY
    (2008-2021)
    Fray William Cordero, Jr.
    Fray Roderick Deguit

30
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    March 30, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
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    Fray Jose Enrico Gallego [simply prof.]
    Sis. Juanita Pajarillaga, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Jelly Masongsong, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Roberta Panoncillo, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

31
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    BIRTHDAY
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    Br. Audel Ken Santillan [prenov seminarian]

   

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