Vocation Meditation - <br />August 14, 2011 > Vocations.ca

Vocation Meditation -
August 14, 2011

Jesus went away to the district of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that region came out, and started shouting, "Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon." But he did not answer her at all.

And his disciples came and urged him saying, "Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us." He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

But the woman came and knelt before him saying, "Lord, help me." He answered, "It is not fair to take children's food and throw it to the dogs." She said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table."

Then Jesus answered her, "Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish." And her daughter was healed instantly.

To prepare His disciples to face the end that was in store for Him, Jesus sought some quiet time and distance in a Gentile territory where He could be with His disciples. It was a time also to avoid the sneer and stare of His enemies. But even in this foreign land of Tyre and Sidon, Jesus was not left without any interference. Jesus' name and His miracles have reached this foreign land. Anywhere He went, the demand of human need followed Him, crying out for help.

This moment in Tyre and Sidon captured the understanding of His disciples that the Good News has a place in the Gentile world. No human condition is a barrier in reaching out to God. Faith opens the way to God's revealing love.

The Canaanite woman's approach to Jesus is everyone's model of prayer:

This stranger of a woman was great, indeed. She brought to Jesus a fresh approach to prayer in time of need. We cannot but smile and be proud of her, a foreigner and stranger that she was. She echoed for all time what each one of us needs to hear from God every time we pray: "Woman, great is your faith!"

Vocation Challenge:
"Woman, great is your faith!"
What is it in my prayer-life that could be re-learned or strengthened so that it may truly be great and strong?

Dear God,
My faith is not that constant and strong. Lord, I need to encounter You always in prayer when I bring to your Presence the needs of others before mine. When I get stalled in prayer by my weakness and the noise of others, keep me hoping and willing to be trained in believing and in responding to Your call to love and worship You. Amen.

For the full Gospel reading for this Sunday, visit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops site.

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