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Sunday, 20 August 2023

Gospel Reflection for the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A.


O God, let all the nations praise you! (Psalm 66)

All the readings this Sunday illustrate a common theme - God's universal love for his creatures, beyond the confines of his chosen people and beyond the barriers of gender, religion and nationality.  God's love is universal and he wants everybody to be saved.

This is illustrated in the gospel of Matthew this week. Jesus' appointed ministry was to his own race - the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to whom he revealed his Covenant. What elicited Jesus' change of heart was the desperate pleas of a mother with a sick child. (What a force of nature is the love of a mother for her child!) First of all her desperate cries upset the disciples  and they urged Jesus to oblige her. Then Jesus challenges her. a challenge to which she responds magnificently. Even the chewed house-scraps will do!

The personal lesson for each of us is that God, in his revealed Son, hears our cries for help, especially our most urgent and heart-felt. Call on Jesus at all times: Help me! and like Peter, Save me!

'I call on the Lord in my distress, and he answers. Save me, O Lord....' Psalm120, 1.