Greetings to all! It is great to be back in my office preparing once again for a new year of ministry. Can it really be the middle of August?
No one can deny that this Year of the Lord, 2020 is unprecedented! We as a people have never in our lives experienced living in a global pandemic; the closing of our schools, our churches, nursing and assisted living facilities, businesses and in many cases, being required to work remotely from our homes while becoming full-time educators to our children. For our safety and that of others we are told to distance ourselves, wear masks and restrict our gatherings. We long for things to “get back to normal” while at the same time knowing that we most likely will need to adjust to a “new normal” as our lives have changed in so many ways.
For many this causes great concern; increased stress, fear, confusion, anxiety, worry. We long for security and peace of mind. We might identify with the woman in today’s Gospel who was desperately seeking the attention of Jesus – she was asking for healing for her daughter who was tormented by a demon. The word “tormented” might well describe how we feel in these uncertain times. The disciples petitioned Jesus to send this woman away, her persistent calls to Jesus seemed to annoy them. But she was determined as she approached Jesus, did him homage and pleaded, “Lord, have pity on me, help me!” Jesus recognizes her sincerity and responds: O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done to you as you wish.
And from that hour, the woman’s daughter was healed. The woman in Matthew’s gospel deeply believed in Jesus – her faith gave her the strength to seek help from the one she knew in her heart could restore her daughter to peace of mind.
We can only imagine that this healing affected the lives of everyone who loved her and her daughter. Faith in Jesus brought them an opportunity for renewed life and hope in their future. Jesus is our hope in troubled times. Our faith in him will see us through this pandemic and will bless us beyond our imagining. Only when we surrender our lives to Jesus will we find the peace and comfort we seek. Oh, we will experience difficulties again in life, but those too, we will navigate with sure and certain hope that God is and will continue to be with us.
Let us this week thank God for the gift of our faith in Jesus Christ and let us pray for those who struggle to believe. In this way we can contribute to the mission of our Church – to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to the world.
In shared faith,
He Would Love First!
October 24, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC