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News & Resources

Gospel Reflection: August 20, 2023 – The Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 19, 2023

Matthew 15:21-28

“Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.”

I am always inspired by stories of faith and persistence. And we have a few in our Gospels and the Hebrew Scriptures. Do you remember begging your mom for anything while you were growing up? Just one more dessert, five more minutes to stay out late, or an allowance to go to a concert – and you know the many times you persisted in wanting something.

I just read about a woman from South Korea, Cha-Sa-soon, who wanted to learn how to drive, but as time and work would have it, she earned her license when she was 69 years old. It was a difficult journey she undertook to get her license. Cha-Sa-soon failed her written section of 40 multiple questions 949 times due to language and symbols, but on her 950th time, she made the grade to go on to the road test, which she failed four times, and on the fifth test, she passed it and got her driver’s license. Her perseverance is now known throughout South Korea, and she became a national hero.

And a few weeks ago, World Youth Day (WYD) was celebrated in Lisbon, where 1.5 million young people inspired the world by their faith. YouTube, and if you googled the event, EWTN carried much of the 5-day event. It was most inspiring seeing the young people pray the rosary, not walk but kneel their way up to the church for Mass or a shrine. They never knew when a camera would be on them. So you saw genuine reverence and respect as Bishop Baron passed the kneeling crowd with the Blessed Sacrament.

In the Gospel story this Sunday, we meet a persistent woman that shows her faith in Jesus, asking Him to cure her daughter. She was a Gentile, but she went to Jesus, honored Him, and called Him “Son of David,” believing in Him. She was not afraid, even though the Apostles wanted to chase her away because of her persistence in asking him for this plea. The young people gathered at WYD likewise inspired us with their belief in God and their tenacity in all they had to go through to get from their countries to Lisbon.

The Canaanite woman’s ongoing ‘plea’ was answered, and Jesus even commended her with, “O Woman, great is your faith. Let it be done as you wish.” And so it was.

I invite you to ponder on the times you petitioned God for something over and over. Did you give up on God, or is your faith in Him still asking...?

Sr. Celeste Hupert, CSFN


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