Weekly Reflection

As part of my work as Manager, Campus Ministry for the University of Notre Dame Australia I write a weekly refection on the coming Sunday's Gospel and email it to all staff and students of the Fremantle Campus. This then is the weekly blog of those reflections, based on the Gospel readings for Sundays, as per the lectionary of the Roman Missal of Paul VI. Should these reflections find any readership whatsoever, I hope that it is edifying.
The title of my blog is taken from the English translation of Cardinal John Henry Newman's memorial epitaph, which was inscribed on his memorial plaque at the Birmingham Oratory.

Ex umbris et imaginibus in veritatem - Through Shadows and Images to Truth

Sunday, August 17, 2014

17 August 2014: 20th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Gospel Mt 15:21-28
You have great faith, let your wish be granted
The woman in today’s Gospel is one of great faith and humility. She saw Jesus walking through the town and called out to him, not caring how her pleas would be perceived by onlookers, begging for his mercy to be shown to her in the healing of her daughter.
What is interesting in this story is that the woman identifies personally with the suffering of her daughter; she is truly compassionate, suffering with her daughter – taking on her sufferings as her own.
In her pleading with Jesus for mercy and healing she does not lay any stress on her own merits, but abandons herself to the goodness and mercy of Jesus.
For us then, this woman is a model of faith and humility, someone we should endeavour to emulate. In approaching God in prayer we do not need to list our accomplishments, nor do we need to attempt to use our good deeds as bargaining chips before God.
Our prayer and petition to God need not be akin to an economic transaction. In fact, God’s mercy, healing and forgiveness is wholly gratuitous and unmerited – pure gift.
As Jesus showed in today’s Gospel, he is willing to give in abundance to those who humbly submit to him in prayer with the openness to receive.

Questioning Words
Do I sometimes look at my good deeds as bargaining chips to be used with God?
How often do I simply ask God for what I need with the trust of the woman in today’s Gospel?
What areas of my life would benefit from God’s mercy and healing?

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