Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, 16th August 2020

Let all the peoples praise you, O God!

God’s plan of salvation is for all people. The loving Spirit of God is poured into the whole of creation and rests within everyone. This truth is revealed throughout Scripture and is a message of hope for all times.

The prophet Isaiah (First Reading) calls us to act with integrity and justice, recognising that a time will come when true faith in the Lord of love and compassion will find expression in people of all faith and none.

This universal vision is echoed in both the response and the verses of the Psalm. The light of God’s love shines upon all people of every tribe and nation. This is a text that speaks to our times, reminding us of our common humanity, bound together by the love and blessings of God.

In the letter to the Romans (Second Reading), Paul teaches that God is faithful to his promises and will never take back the gifts he has so lovingly and freely given to all people. God’s mercy is for all of humanity.

In the Gospel, we witness what at first seems an uncharacteristically harsh response from Jesus to a desperately worried mother. In this exchange, a foreign pagan woman with a daughter troubled by an evil spirit approaches him directly for help. She has so much faith in Jesus that she even reveals a truth about him that his own disciples have yet to recognise. Jesus’s initial rebuff to her cry for help, and her unwavering faith in him, offers an opportunity for him to teach his disciples that God’s healing love is available for all people, no matter what their race or religion may be.

Let us, too, pray for an outpouring of the kind of faith the woman reveals to us. May we be able to recognise the spirit of God in all people, and may we unite in living out God’s covenant of love and justice in all that we do.

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