Reflection: Up to what extent can your faith go?

Is 56:1, 6-7

Ps 67:2-3.5.6.8

Rm 11: 13-15. 29-32

Mt 15:21-28

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         At the back of our minds, sometimes we wonder why our prayers don’t always get dramatic results as the woman’s prayer in the Gospel. Maybe it is because we don’t have enough love, enough humility and enough faith.

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       Take note of the woman’s way of making her request—she did not blame God for allowing her innocent daughter to be tormented by demons; her humble attitude which enables her to accept the Lord’s initial rejection; her persistence to come back right back with another petition; her utmost love for her daughter. Love, faith and humility—these are the paramount elements for prayer that moves the heart of God.

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        Three times, the woman was rejected: first, Jesus did not answer her; second, Jesus refused his disciples’ plea on her behalf; third, when Jesus said that the children’s food should not be given to the dogs. It was only on the fourth time when her request was granted: “Woman you have great faith. Let your wish be granted.”

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     Why the delay in answering the pleas of the woman? Why allow the child to agonize for so long? We humans do not have the full answer to these piping questions. Human suffering is a mystery but behind the mystery is the assurance that all things will eventually work together for the good of all who have love, faith, and humility.

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Reflection: Many Christians today are fascinated or even more they are inclined to worship services that are like rock concerts. They like the noise and music that make them feel good in themselves. This is a sad reality that is much different from the experience of the Prophet Elijah in our 1st Reading, God is in the tiny whispering sound, not in the rushing wind, in the earthquake, not in the lighting, and not in the fire.

19th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)

1 Kings 19:9, 11-13 /Ps 859, 10. 11-12

Rom9:1-5

Mt 14:22-33

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            When the Lord told the prophet Elijah to go to the mountain because he would pass by, the prophet expected a miraculous event. But the mighty God did not appear in a mighty wind or a great ball of fire not even on an earthquake. Instead Elijah felt the presence of God in a gentle breeze. The message is simply this - God is not found only in big things and great events but in the day-to-day ordinary moments of life and in the silence of our hearts. That is why the Church continuously invites us to spend moments of silence, moments of prayer.

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          The Gospel episode would bring us a second lesson and that is the lesson of faith.

When Peter stopped trusting in Jesus and paid attention to the wind and the waves, he started to sink. And this applies to us, too.  When we concentrate more on our problems and forget to lift them up to God, we too sink in frustration and despair. The secret of overcoming our difficulties is to trust in the Lord at all times.

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            Being a follower of Christ does not mean that you will be exempted from the storms of life.

            If we find ourselves in danger of being swallowed by the storms of life, maybe it is because we have turned away from him or we have focused so much on the difficulties of the situation and like the disciples, troubled believing that will keep his words.

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          Ito ay isang pagpapa-alala sa ating lahat,lalo na ngayong maraming pagsubok ang ating nararanasan. The Lord continues to invite us : Come, it is I….do not be afraid. If we accept the invitation, we are assured that we will experience what Peter did experience. We will experience the hands of Jesus reaching out to us in Love.

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         Prayer is keeping the eyes of our heart focused on Christ, so that his grace can bring us safely through life's storms. As long as our prayer life is strong, waves of temptation, discouragement, and sin can surge and billow all around us, but Christ will keep us safe.

         In this mass let us pray that we may always be convinced that God is always near us both in good and bad times.

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