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"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience," (Col 3:12)

20 August 2023

20 August - Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time


Reading 1:Is 56:1, 6-7

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8

Reading 2: Rom 11:13-15, 29-32

Alleluia: Cf. Mt 4:23

Gospel: Mt 15:21-28


The main theme of today's liturgy of the word is the reference to pagans. Both in the Prophet Isaiah, in the first reading, as well as in Saint Paul in his Letter to the Romans, and in the Gospel, God's relationship to those who do not believe in him comes to the fore. Someone may say: what do we care if someone does not believe, what is our interest in all this? Well, that we, as believers in Christ, should keep this faith not only to ourselves, we should not feel specially privileged because we believe in God, but rather we should feel co-responsible for His work of love, the work of salvation, which bring all people together. By dying on the cross, Jesus died for everyone without exception: for believers and non-believers, giving everyone a chance to get closer to God and take advantage of this great grace which is eternal life. We who believe can enjoy the presence of God, but we should also communicate this presence to other people, just like Jesus, who does not despise the request of the Canaanite woman in today's Gospel. Although he could send her away, because she is not part of the chosen nation, He gives a chance to her faith, which is probably just born in her heart, so that this faith awakens her to a better life and faithfulness to God. The strange thing about this Gospel is that Jesus says little about her daughter's illness and says a lot about the woman's faith, as if this faith was something Jesus was waiting for, something He wanted and finally received this faith, saw in her heart. Unfortunately, the disciples did not see the same, so they wanted to dismiss the woman, literally "leave". They wanted Jesus to leave her. However, Jesus cannot abandon any soul that turns to Him with even the smallest act of faith, just as we turn to Him in our prayers, receive the sacraments, receive Him in Holy Communion and feel that we are listened to by Him, that we have access to His heart. In the same way, those who do not have such faith as we do, also have their place in Jesus’s heart, they also have a right to his grace. Saint Paul speaks today about a certain competition that arose between the faith of the newly converted pagans and the faith of the Israelites, that is, the Chosen People. And what is strange, it is the faith of the Gentiles that the Apostle gives as an example, comparing it to the faith of the Jews, who turned out to be disobedient to God, perhaps because they were jealous of the Gentiles or because they thought they had a monopoly on God. Meanwhile, with God, everyone has the opportunity and chance for a relationship with Him, there are no better or worse, there are no privileged and less privileged; everyone can get closer to God and our task here is to help God by our example, our prayer and rejoice that people are getting closer to God, and not to distance them from God with our indifference, anger, our lack of faith. Let us do everything we can if we see that someone wants to come closer to God, to help him in this; because if God chose us for this special relationship with him, He also chose us to help Him bring others closer to the same relationship.

Father Marcin Cwierz, OSPPE

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"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience," (Col 3:12)  

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