Wednesday of the Eighteenth Week of Ordinary Time

Today’s readings

We have an interesting dichotomy in today’s Liturgy of the Word.  First, we have the people Israel, who, as you know if you’ve been following the story these last couple of weeks, have been saved miraculously from abject slavery in Egypt, led through the desert and through the Red Sea to safety, fed with bread from heaven, and hydrated with water from the rock.  They have continually been in God’s presence and have been led by a column of cloud by day and fire by night.  But they have time and again rejected God and refused to have faith that he would deliver on his promises.  Today, at the precipice of the Promised Land, they reject him yet again.  And then we have the Canaanite woman in today’s Gospel, who has absolutely no claim on God’s mercy.  The Canaanites are the pagan people thrown out of the Promised Land to make room for God’s chosen people.  That she would even believe in God is a miracle, and yet her faith today is relentless.  Today’s readings embody the question of faith for all of us.  Will we give up on grace when we are faced with tough times, or will we choose to believe, against all odds, that God will hear our prayers and say, “Let it be done for you as you wish”?