16th August, 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Deaths:  We pray for Willie O’Mahony, Congress Road, Joe Cotter, Mount Pleasant Road and Mary McConville, Bantry Park Road, who died recently.  We extend our sympathy to their families.

POPE FRANCIS SAYS

Commenting on today’s Gospel, Pope Francis says it presents us with a unique example of faith as the Canaanite woman, a foreigner to the Jews, begs Jesus to heal her daughter.

Jesus points to this humble woman as a model of unwavering faith. Her persistence in beseeching Christ’s intervention is incentive for us not to become discouraged, not to despair when we are burdened by life’s difficult trials. The Lord does not turn away in the face of our needs and, if at times he seems insensitive to our requests for help, it is in order to put to the test and to strengthen our faith. We must continue to cry out like this woman: “Lord, help me! Lord, help me!” with perseverance and courage.

This Gospel episode helps us to understand that we all need to grow in faith and fortify our trust in Jesus. He can help us to find our way, when we have lost the compass of our journey; when the road no longer seems flat but rough and arduous; when it is hard to be faithful to our commitments. It is important to nourish our faith every day, by carefully listening to the Word of God, with the celebration of the Sacraments, with personal prayer as a “cry” to him — “Lord, help me!” — and with concrete acts of love toward our neighbour.

Let us entrust ourselves to the Holy Spirit, so that he may help us to persevere in faith. The Spirit instils courage in the heart of believers; he gives our life and our Christian witness the power of conviction and persuasion; he helps us to overcome scepticism toward God and indifference toward our brothers and sisters.