FIRST READING
They scorned the desirable land (Psalm 106:24).
A reading from the Book of Numbers (Numbers 13: 1-2.25-14:1.26-29.34-35)

In those days: The Lord said to Moses [in the wilderness of Paran], “Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I give to the sons of Israel; from each tribe of their fathers shall you send a man, every one a leader among them.” At the end of forty days they returned from spying out the land. And they came to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation of the sons of Israel in the wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh; they brought back word to them and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. And they told him, “We came to the land to which you sent us;   it flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. Yet the people who dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large; and besides, we saw the descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the Negeb; the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the hill country; and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and along the Jordan.” But Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once, and occupy it; for we are well able to over come it.” Then the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.” So they brought to the sons of Israel an evil report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people that we saw in it are men of great stature. And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who come from the Nephilim); and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.” Then all the congregation raised a loud cry; and the people wept that night. And the Lord said to Moses and to Aaron, “How long shall this wicked congregation murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the sons of Israel, which they murmur against me. Say to them, ‘As I live, says the Lord, what you have said in my hearing I will do to you: your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness; of all your number,  numbered from twenty years old and upward, who have murmured  against  me. According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for everyday a year, you shall bear your iniquity, forty years, and you shall know my displeasure.’ I, the Lord, have spoken; surely this will I do to all this wicked congregation that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall come to a full end, and there they shall die.”

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM    Ps 106:6-7ab.13-14.21-22.23  (R. see 4a)
R/. O Lord, remember us with the favour you show to your people.
Or:  Alleluia.

Like our fathers, we have sinned.
We have done wrong; our deeds have been evil.
Our forebears, when they were in Egypt,
Did not grasp the meaning of your wonders. R.

But they soon forgot his deeds,
and would not wait upon his counsel.
They yielded to their cravings in the desert,
And put God to the test in the wilderness. R.

R/. O Lord, remember us with the favour you show to your people.
Or:  Alleluia.

They forgot the God who was their saviour,
who had done such great things in Egypt,
such wonders in the land of Ham,
such marvels at the Red Sea. R.

For this he said he would destroy them,
but Moses, the man he had chosen,
stood in the breach before him,
to turn back his anger from destruction. R.

ALLELUIA Luke 7:16
Alleluia. A great prophet has arisen among us, and God has visited his people. Alleluia.

GOSPEL
“O woman, great is your faith!”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 15:21-28)

At that time: Jesus went away and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and cried, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely possessed by a demon.” But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” And he answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”  Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection

After their spies had surveyed Canaan, the people of Israel were afraid to claim the Promised Land. In that critical moment of uncertainly the faith of Caleb was inspiring and motivating. In the Gospel, the Canaanite woman demonstrated strong faith as she waited patiently for a positive response. Jesus threw the “red flag” at her but she kept coming; he discouraged her but she responded with humour. Commending her unshakable faith Jesus said, “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish” (matt 15:28). Let us renew our faith in God with St John Vianney’s prayer: “I love you, O my infinitely lovable God, and I would rather die loving you than live without loving you.”

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