Wednesday, August 5, 2015

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


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

Numbers 13:1-2, 25 - 14:1, 26-29, 34-35

My Beloved, leaders are essential to any community. They are assigned with the difficult tasks. They are required to discern the needs of the community, the problems that exist, the strengths and weaknesses and they are called to report truthfully and offer constructive solutions for the good of all.

The leaders that Moses chose and sent out to check out the land that God had chosen for His people were given 40 days to make a proper survey of it and they were to report back faithfully all that they saw. Unfortunately they gave false reports, they allowed fear to cloud their judgment and their faith, this led to the entire community complaining, groaning and grumbling against the God who had so faithfully cared for them. They sinned against God and the wages of sin is death, always death. For each of the 40 days they had to make reparation for a year and so for 40 years they wandered in the wilderness until the whole generation that had rebelled and murmured against God had died. The promise was to be fulfilled to a new generation who would make a new beginning.

My Beloved, God is faithful to all His promises. In You He gave us a new beginning, a new Covenant and a new hope.

Psalm 106:6-7, 13-14, 21-23

My Beloved, here we see the powerful role of intercessors; those who pray and plead for sinners, asking God to grant them mercy and pardon. Time and time again Moses pleaded for the people when they sinned against the all powerful God – and we now have You, the only Son of God who not only paid the price for the sins of all mankind but who now sits at the right hand of the Father and intercedes for us night and day.

Teach me how to pray effectively in the Spirit and to unite my own prayers of intercession with Yours so the world may know how much You love them and of the great love of the Father who did not withhold His only Son to redeem His wayward children.

Matthew 15:21-28

My Beloved, You are constantly on the move. You have a mission – three years during which You desire to touch as many lives as You can and preach the message of the love of God our Father before the time of the Great Sacrifice.  In these verses St. Matthew recounts the encounter between You and the Canaanite woman and she shows us how to pray with faith and to intercede for those we love. The disciples have still not learned that You never send anyone away without granting them their petition. When this foreigner comes to You and addressing You as Lord, Son of David cries out aloud for healing for her daughter who is possessed and tormented by an evil spirit You are silent and Your silence is mistaken by the disciples for indifference to her plight. She is not afraid to make a scene if it will get Your attention but the disciples are uncomfortable with the noise she is making. We can be like that sometimes my Beloved, we see someone wailing and lamenting in pain and crying out to You in prayer and we shift uncomfortably and wish the person would pray discreetly instead of being moved to compassion and praying with them.

In response to the disciples advise to You to send her away You look at her and say something absolutely startling and seemingly cruel, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the nation of Israel.” But this mother would not be denied; she would not take no for an answer and in this exchange between You and her we understand the power of the prayer of persistence made in faith. She fell on her knees and begged You to help her. How deeply this must have moved Your heart to tender love, pity and compassion for her. But the lesson in prayer is not yet complete, You respond to her cry with another seemingly insensitive reply, “It is not right to take the bread from the children and throw it to the little dogs.” The mother was pleading for her child and she said, “It is true Sir, but even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their master’s table.” Wow! And You gave her what You intended to right from the start but not without praising her highly for her faith. Little did she dream that day that 2000 years later we would read about her and learn from her how to pray and intercede for those we love. “Woman how great is your faith! Let it be as you wish.” Every prayer made in faith will receive the exact same response from You my Lord and my God.

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