Pondering for Sunday, August 16, 2020

Track 2 Eucharistic Readings for Sunday of Proper 15: Year A

Isaiah 56:1,6-8;  Psalm 67; Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32; Matthew 15: (10-20), 21-2

“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.” (Matthew 15: 27 and 28)

Prior to this incident (and part of our Gospel Reading for today) Jesus had just explained about what defiles a person.  He said it is not what goes into a person (certain foods considered unclean) but rather it is what comes out of a person, sinful acts and words that defile a person.  I know for myself, when I have said of done something revengeful or retaliatory, I feel bad about it.  I am still a work in progress.  Pray for me please.

And then we have this Canaanite woman with words of requests for her daughter’s cure coming out of her mouth.  This is intercessory prayer. This is coming to our Lord Jesus of whom she did not know but needed anyway.  This is about Jesus himself learning truly who he is. (The Gospel of Matthew is only concerned with the people of Israel.) But here we are shown the world-wide intention of God’s Salvation.  God loves, and wants all people to be saved.

Today I am baptizing an infant into the household of God in our Christian tradition as our Lord Jesus instructed us to do.  The very nature of God is inclusiveness, all people; period.  I know that all people are not baptized.  But we, who follow our Lord Jesus, continue to insist on this soul saving practice of grace. There is no exclusion from the love of God.  Canaanite or Israelite, black or white, rich or poor, democrat or republican, boy or girl, bald or with curls, Jesus loves the little children of the world. All are precious in his sight.

This is again, another example where Jesus informs us about the faith that is in us; the faith in the mother that was the source of her daughter’s healing.  So it is with us today.  We must believe.

I will ask you in a few minutes, “Will you who witness these vows do all in your power to support this person in her life in Christ?  And you will answer; “We will.”  The “we” indicates the Church.  As the Church, will we come together as the loving community of Jesus in prayer, so that this infant girl presented here today for baptism, is cleansed of all evil and malice of thought? You and I have a part in this action of the Holy Spirit.

You will be asked, “Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?”  You will answer with “I will, with God’s help.”  We are saying that we will respect their dignity even if they don’t.  You need to know that God is doing God’s part. But God expects us to be co-creators in this event and in the life of this child.  God works through the saints.  We are the saints.  Thank You Lord Jesus.

Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do.  John

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