(Isaiah 56:1,6-7; Romans 11:13-15,29-32; Matthew 15:21-28)

Today is the 20th Sunday in ordinary time, year A. The Church draws our attention to God’s invitation to persistent in prayer. This means that we have equal opportunities to it through our response of faith; for faith and prayer can’t be separated from the other. Last Sunday we heard Jesus rebuke Peter of his faith saying; “You man of little faith”. And today a Canaanite woman was praised of her faith; “Woman. Great is your faith”.

It is general known norm that to achieve greatness, persistence, commitment, determination, perseverance is needed and is important. Today, Jesus praised a Canaanite woman, saying: “Woman, great is your faith, let it be done to you according to your wish” and her request was granted. How much faith do we have? How much persistence do we show in our prayer and requests? NEVER GIVE UP! The woman in today’s gospel never gave up. In humility she was constant in her request; she remained persistent in her prayers for healing of her daughter tormented by demon.

Remember at first, she received silence from Jesus. She was rebuffed and given a cold shoulder from Him even the disciples of Jesus wanted him to send the woman away due to her constant disturbance so to say. In a second move, she comes one on one with Jesus, and falling on her knees in front of Him, she cries out, “Lord, help me.” At this time, Jesus tells her, “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” All these were to test her resolve. Did she succumb? NO, SHE NEVER GAVE UP.  “Yes, Lord,” she softly insists, “even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.” With this response of faith, we all know the outcome.

Dear sisters and brothers, no matter what you pass through never say NEVER. Continue doing what is right, just as the first reading encouraged us, soon your salvation will come and God’s deliverance be revealed. Also, may be consider the gesture of prayer of this woman, she came and knelt before the Jesus; calling on God’s name three times within this short discourse. Humility towards greatest and success!

May you NEVER GIVE UP on the Lord. Keep praying and that little push of faith is very important that without it, there can be no sustained movement to Jesus. “Winners don’t quit, but quitters never win”. Don’t quit, for when you do, you can’t win.