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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

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Dedication of St. Mary Major

Numbers 13:1-2, 25—14:1, 26-29, 34-35
Psalm 106:6-7, 13-14, 21-23
Matthew 15:21-28

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find-able faith

"You have great faith! Your wish will come to pass." —Matthew 15:28

The Israelites in the desert were called to move into the land occupied by the pagan Canaanites. In comparison to the Israelites, the pagan Canaanites were considered "dogs" (see Mt 15:26). But it was the Israelites, chosen by God to live in the Promised Land, who lacked faith (see Nm 13:28ff). How ironic that a woman of the Canaanites, who were descended from those not chosen to live in the Promised Land, would have "great faith" (Mt 15:28), while the Israelites "suffered for [their] faithlessness" (Nm 14:32), and Jesus' could not discover much faith among his fellow Israelites (see Mt 8:10; Mk 6:6).

Jesus was incredulous when a man was unsure if He could heal his son (Mk 9:23). He was distressed when His hometown folks lacked faith in His healing power (Mk 6:6). Jesus "showed amazement" in hearing a man who had absolute faith in Him (Mt 8:10). He credited faith in several of His healings and conversions (see e.g. Mk 5:34; Lk 7:50). Jesus looks for faith in any situation (see Mk 2:5). He probes and tests us to find faith (see Jn 6:6; Mt 15:24, 26; 1 Thes 2:4). If we're in a difficult situation, it is possible that the Lord is testing us to discover if we are living in faith (see 2 Cor 13:5), for He knows that "all depends on faith" (Rm 4:16).

Most of you who read this are Catholics. We Catholics are often referred to as "the faithful." For example, at Mass we pray "the Prayers of the Faithful." May we constantly "grow strong in [our] holy faith" (Jude 20) and live as God's faithful ones, lest Jesus wonder if He will find any faith in the world (see Lk 18:8).

Prayer:  "Lord, 'increase our faith' " (Lk 17:5).

Promise:  "They forgot the God Who had saved them, Who had done great deeds." —Ps 106:21

Praise:  Ralph converted to the Catholic faith because he was repeatedly touched by the prophetic messages of Our Lady.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 18, 2015

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