PERSISTENT FAITH AND TRUST IN GOD’S PROVIDENCE
First Reading: Numbers 13:1-2,25-14:1,26-29,34-35
Responsorial Psalm: Ps. 105(106):6-7,13-14,21-23
Gospel Reading: Matthew 15:21-28
In times of trials and challenges, it becomes increasingly evident that one’s faith and trust in God play a crucial role in navigating the turbulent waters of life. Today’s readings relate to the theme of unyielding faith and unshakable trust in God, showing how they can either lead to the downfall or be the light that guides us through the darkest moments.
The First Reading from Numbers recounts the journey of the Israelites as they faced the daunting task of exploring the Promised Land. Despite being witnesses to the miraculous deeds of God, the lack of persistent faith among some of them led to a spiral of doubt and despair. They doubted God’s providence and lost sight of His promises, thinking God will not lead them into the promised land because they felt powerless before the people of the land. As a result, they were plagued by curses and damages, trapped in a cycle of negativity that hindered them from reaching the promised land filled with milk and honey.
In stark contrast, the Gospel reading presents the inspiring account of the Canaanite woman who approached Jesus seeking healing for her daughter. Her story is a vivid illustration of the power of persistent faith. Despite facing initial resistance, she clung to her belief in Jesus’ compassion and ability to heal. Her lively and unshakable faith moved Jesus to grant her request, bringing healing, breakthrough, and blessing to her household. This touching narrative serves as a reminder that persistent faith can break through barriers and open the doors to blessings.
Reflecting on the Psalms, we find a call to remember the great deeds of the Lord throughout history. This serves as a reminder that even in the face of trials and difficulties, it is vital to recall the moments when faith has triumphed over adversity. This relates to the faithlessness of the Israelites who failed to remember the deeds of the Lord but felt powerless before the inhabitants of the promised land. The Psalmist’s words serve as a wellspring of strength and encouragement, reinforcing the belief that God’s providence remains steadfast even in the midst of challenges.
Dear friends in Christ, the readings underscore the impact of persistent faith and trust in God’s providence. The Israelites’ lack of unwavering faith led to dire consequences, while the Canaanite woman’s tenacious belief brought about blessings beyond measure. These stories encourage us to cultivate and nurture our own faith, especially in times of difficulty. Just as a tiny seed can grow into a mighty tree with patience and care, so too can our faith flourish when we persistently nurture it. By anchoring our trust in the unchanging promises of God, we can weather the storms of life and emerge stronger, wiser, and more blessed than before.
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© Fr. Chinaka Justin Mbaeri, OSJ
Paroquia Nossa Senhora de Loreto, Vila Medeiros, São Paulo, Brazil
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