August 5, 2020 (Wednesday of Week 18: Dedication of St Mary Major)
I will always loved you...
Dear friends in Christ, through our celebration today, God reminds us of his I ne’er failing love for us. We must respond to this love by our love for God and for our neighbour.
Our first reading today (Jeremiah 31:1-7) continues the message of hope in the book of Prophet Jeremiah. Even after the fall of Jerusalem, God did not stop loving his people. They lost everything including their land and the temple which signified the presence of God in their midst; but God did not cast them off. "At that time, says the Lord, I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people." God again and again pledged His love for Israel without ever asking for anything apart from their faithfulness. "I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have continued my faithfulness to you." God does not fail. This relationship is what we see in the life of Jesus, who gave himself freely and totally for the sake of his bride the church. This is what is expected of every Christian marriage, when the knot is tied with the beautiful words of the exchange of consent, "...for better for worse, until death do us part." This love is unconditional, it is not merited. It is not a matter of, ‘if you love me, I will love you.’ It is that, “I will always love you.” That is the challenge of love. Human love ends with death, God's love however is everlasting. He loves us even beyond death because we are invited to spend our eternity with him also.
In the gospel of today(Matthew 15:21-28) Matthew presents the encounter of a Canaanite woman with Jesus. This was obviously the first of such missions to the district of Tyre and Sidon. The Gentiles were not welcome to the Jews for obvious reasons and referred to as dogs(pets). Jesus confronted his disciples with a situation that demanded their response to this Gentile woman. Her request was not beyond Jesus, “Have mercy on me…my daughter is severely possessed by a demon.” This loving concern of a mother for her daughter was not answered by Jesus, which prompted the disciples to say, “Send her away, for she is crying after us.” When Jesus said he was sent to the lost of the house of Israel and that it wasn't right to give what belongs to children to the dogs, the woman responded with even greater faith which surprised everyone, “Yes Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the master’s table.” Her faith won. The love of God extends to everyone, it does not discriminate. He causes his sun to shine on all together. If God has loved us that much, how else can we respond but to love him back? In marriage one gives love for love. When God loves us then, we should love him back and manifest it in our love for others.
Let us pray: Thank you Lord for loving me. Help me by your grace to love you and to love others for your sake. Amen. May the almighty God bless you, the Father and the son and the Holy Spirit. Amen