Memorial of Saint Dominic, Priest
For many of us, ask for something from another human being is difficult. We often pride ourselves in not needing help from anyone. We live in a culture where we should be able to pull ourselves by our own boot straps. Our success within our culture seems in many ways dependent on our ability to be independent. This independence has weaknesses of course in that there are often times when we need to help of others just to function.
When we think about it, there is very little we can do without the help of others. The food we eat has been touched by many hands and has been delivered over many miles just to get to our grocery stores. The money we make is because someone gave us a job and offered us money in exchange for our efforts or perhaps we inherited, which means someone else earned it and shared. Even our very lives we owe to the ones who raised us and through great sacrifice helped us to grow up with food to eat, a safe place to live and doctors for when we were sick.
In the first reading the prophet shares the God’s message with the people of Israel. The Israelite’s had thought they didn’t need God that they could do it on their own. Yet even as their nation is crumbling God promises that He will provide for and raise His people up.
In the Gospel, Jesus meets a Canaanite woman whose daughter is possessed by a demon. The interchange between the woman and Jesus may seem strange, Jesus doesn’t acknowledge her pleading. The Canaanite’s woman’s desire to be in a faith relationship with the Lord moved him to heal her daughter. Jesus complements her on her deep faith. Her tenacity is a model for how seriously we must pursue a relationship with the Lord. Of no less importance is that the whole dialogue is undergirded by the woman’s humility. It was humble faith that allowed her to put aside her own pride, her prejudices, and place the needs of her daughter above her own.
If humble faith is the root of a strong relationship with Christ, then virtue of humility is essential for our ability to be faithful disciples. What might we do to better live this virtue?
- Deacon Michael Montgomery