Intention: For the will to live with greater compassion and welcome toward all people, especially where histories of misunderstanding and fear divide us.
Today’s Gospel | Matthew 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 he did not say a word in answer to her. His 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 him 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 her daughter was healed from that hour.
From the Ninth Meditation for the Time of Retreat | Saint John Baptist de La Salle
You must not doubt that it is a great gift of God, this grace he has given you to be entrusted with the instruction of children, to announce the Gospel to them and to bring them up in the spirit of religion. But in calling you to this holy ministry, God demands that you fulfill it with ardent zeal for their salvation, because this is the work of God, and he curses the one who does his work carelessly.
Let it be clear, then, in all your conduct toward the children who are entrusted to you, that you regard yourselves as the ministers of God, carrying out your ministry with love and a sincere and true zeal, accepting with much patience the difficulties you have to suffer, willing to be despised by men and to be persecuted, even to give your life for Jesus in the fulfillment of your ministry.
Eternal Father, there are times when the hurts of life seem so great that we think nothing can overcome them, and so we do not even try to reach out to you for help. In those times, teach us to be like the woman who refused to accept that there was no hope. Bless us with relentless faith. Help us to never lose heart but to keep returning ourselves to you, for in you light always dispels darkness and life always overcomes death. We ask this of you who lives and reigns with your Son and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.