Reading 1 Is 56:1, 6-7
Thus says the LORD:
Observe what is right, do what is just;
for My salvation is about to come,
My justice, about to be revealed.
The foreigners who join themselves to the LORD,
ministering to Him,
loving the Name of the LORD,
and becoming His servants—
all who keep the Sabbath free from profanation
and hold to My Covenant,
them I will bring to My holy mountain
and make joyful in My house of prayer;
their burnt offerings and sacrifices
will be acceptable on My altar,
for My house shall be called
a house of prayer for all peoples.
Jesus wants us to do what is right. This is not always easy, but if we follow Him, we will be full of joy. We must love Him and His Covenant because then we will be joined to Him and what’s better than that? Jesus saves.
I will admit that it gets very hard trying to keep the Commandments daily, but I can say from experience that nothing is worth sinning. No matter how pleasing something is or how happy a sin makes you in the moment, it is not worth hurting a relationship with God. I rather be 1 day in His house than 1,000 years “enjoying” a sin.
Reading 2 Rom 11:13-15, 29-32
Brothers and sisters:
I am speaking to you Gentiles.
Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles,
I glory in my ministry in order to make my race jealous
and thus save some of them.
For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world,
what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.
Just as you once disobeyed God
but have now received mercy because of their disobedience,
so they have now disobeyed in order that,
by virtue of the mercy shown to you,
they too may now receive mercy.
For God delivered all to disobedience,
that He might have mercy upon all.
Mercy is so beautiful and so underrated. Feeling God’s mercy is like nothing else. Being forgiven by others when you wrong them is one thing, but being forgiven by God is something else. There is no logical reason He should forgive us, especially after giving us His Son -yet we still sin- but the reason is love. He loves us so much that He allows mercy to be the bridge that brings us close again and again.
I cried one time when I specifically felt God’s mercy. It was right after Confession, and I was overwhelmed by this feeling of forgiveness by my God and my Lord, Who so graciously makes me feel whole again even though I am broken. These tears were happy tears. Thank God for the priesthood, too, because it was through this priest that I felt God.
Gospel Mt 15:21-28
At that time, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out,
“Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David!
My daughter is tormented by a demon.”
But Jesus did not say a word in answer to her.
Jesus’ disciples came and asked Him,
“Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.”
He said in reply,
“I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
But the woman came and did Jesus homage, saying, “Lord, help me.”
He said in reply,
“It is not right to take the food of the children
and throw it to the dogs.”
She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps
that fall from the table of their masters.”
Then Jesus said to her in reply,
“O woman, great is your faith!
Let it be done for you as you wish.”
And the woman’s daughter was healed from that hour.
The woman was healed because of her faith and persistence. We need to believe that Jesus will heal us when we ask. It might not be right away or in the way we ask Him, but He will always provide. I want that kind of faith that moves mountains, the kind that doesn’t give up. I also want that persistence especially in prayer so I can push through even when the going gets tough. We should all learn to be like this woman, constantly asking and believing in Jesus even in the most difficult times.