It is 5th August 2020. We celebrate the Dedication of the Basilica of St Mary Major.
The readings are from Jeremiah 31:1-7; and the Gospel from Matthew 15:21-28.
“I will be the God of all the families, and they shall be my people.” (Jer.31:1).
There is a constant attack on the foundations and faith of families. Families are going through enormous suffering, pain, and pressure to sustain, survive, and stabilise the ideals and values day by day.
God assures the message of hope for all families in the first reading. Families are the plans, paths, and presence of God’s goodness, and wisdom in the world. “Promising love for ever is possible when we perceive a plan bigger than our own ideas and undertakings, a plan which sustains us and enables us to surrender our future entirely to the one we love.” (Lumen Fidei,52). God will do anything to protect families. God expresses God’s special love for humanity in and through the fabrics of family. “God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, God has prepared a city for them” (Heb. 11:16). God expresses the priority through the prophet Jeremiah that God loves, seeks, builds, accompanies, plants, celebrates, and treasures families by an everlasting love. “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have continued my faithfulness to you.” (Jer.31:3).
The responsorial Psalm praises, “The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.”
In the Gospel, Jesus heals a family in admiration of its faith. When families stand before Jesus with the prayer, “Lord, help me,” (Mt. 15: 25), Jesus recognizes and rewards love and faith in the family. It is the string of faith in Him and love in the family members moves the mind of Jesus in healing a young girl whose mother did not take no for an answer. Persistence and perspective add the strength and genuineness to our faith. The lady who pleaded for healing of her daughter expressed deep faith in Jesus. Matthew clarified through this story what sort of Messiah Jesus was. Though the remark Jesus made to her seemingly sounds an insult, it implied His cultural expression than a personal indifference and attack. Jewish people connoted colloquially dogs and swine to the Samaritans. It was a common expression with affection. No way Jesus suggested any racial bias to the other rather offers her wish on account of her faith. Faith in Jesus influences God’s decision to either delay or deny our prayers. How do we express our faith in Jesus when God remains silent and far? May you have a good day. God bless you.