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HomeHomilySunday Homily - 20 August 2023

Sunday Homily – 20 August 2023

Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Also Read: Mass Readings for 20 August 2023 Mass Reading Reflection for 20 August 2023

Gospel: Matthew 15: 21-28

Some of the most beautiful prayers are one-liners. We have two great examples in the gospel we just heard; “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David”, and “Lord, help me.” It is good to memorize such prayers and repeat them often. It is a great way to stay connected with Jesus. Let us thank the Canaanite lady for teaching us such wonderful prayers. We owe her a lot for those two great prayers, and for proving the worth of faith, perseverance, courage, and humility.

As per Jesus, she was a woman of great faith. Jesus the God, who knew what people were thinking before they utter a word, definitely knew of the depth of her belief even before she made her first prayer. He, instead let her and helped her prove her faith in front of everyone. It was something Jesus did for His disciples, the onlookers, and for us who read and contemplate on it twenty centuries later.  He was in fact placing her on a higher pedestal.

She wasn’t a Jew, yet she addressed Jesus, ‘Son of David’. She thus confirmed that Jesus was the Messiah, the rightful owner of the throne of David.  She was aware of the scripture that promised a Messiah who will inherit the throne of David. She didn’t have to learn of the Jewish scripture, yet she knew what mattered the most, and that helped her build strong faith in Jesus.

Probably, it was her pitiful situation that took her to the scriptures. Nonetheless, she challenges us today if we know the scripture enough. The closer we are to the scripture, the deeper our faith is.

The odds were against her. She was a gentile and a woman. She was not supposed to move closer to a Jewish man and his companions. She was ignored, rejected, and insulted.  Yet she did not give up. Never give up hope. Never give up on Jesus. If Jesus is taking more time, it just means he has a more excellent plan for you. Look at the way Jesus placed her on a higher pedestal at the end of everything. When you pray, don’t forget that God has plans for you, His plans are always the best plan for you. Perseverance in prayer helps us to grow to the divine plans.

Few warriors are more courageous than mothers. Her ethnicity or her femineity could not prevent her from going to Jesus; those were not easy barriers to overcome in those days. Disrespecting all barriers, she approached Jesus. It is often that many don’t feel worthy to approach Jesus. You are never worthy enough to approach Jesus; when you approach Him, He makes you worthy of everything. Don’t let sin, shame, anything, or anyone prevent you from approaching Jesus.  

Finally, she teaches some important lessons on humility. For a while, He compared her to a dog. She did not lose hope, instead, she caught it as an opportunity to win over Jesus. Humility is the virtue that helps you win the heart of Jesus.


Fr. Bobby Joseph CMI
Fr. Bobby Joseph CMI
Hello, I am Fr. Bobby Joseph CMI, a Catholic priest belonging to the Indian Carmelite order, Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI), founded by three pious 19th-century priests: Fr. Thomas Palackal, Fr. Thomas Porukara, and St. Kuriakose Elias Chavara. Currently, I work as a missionary priest working in Peru. May God bless you all!

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