Entrance Antiphon Ps 83:10-11
Turn your eyes, O God, our shield; and look on the face of your anointed one; one day within your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere.
O God, who have prepared for those who love you good things which no eye can see, fill our hearts, we pray, with the warmth of your love, so that, loving you in all things and above all things, we may attain your promises, which surpass every human desire. Through our Lord…
“And the foreigners I will bring to my holy mountain.”
A reading from the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah 56: 1,6-7)
Thus says the LORD: “Keep justice, and do righteousness, for soon my salvation will come, and my deliverance be revealed. “And the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants, every one who keeps the Sabbath, and does not profane it, and holds fast my covenant – these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.”
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSLAM Ps 67:2-188.8.131.52 (R. 4)
R/. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!
O God, be gracious and bless us
And let your face shed its lights upon.
So will your ways be known upon earth
and all nations learn your salvation. R.
Let the nations be glad and shout for joy,
with uprightness you rule the peoples;
you guide the nations on earth. R.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you.
May God still give us his blessing
That all the ends of the earth may revere him. R.
“The gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.”
A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans (Romans11:13-15.29-32)
Brethren: I am speaking to you Gentiles. In as much then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry in order to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable. Just as you were once disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, so they have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may receive mercy. For God has consigned all men to disobedience, that he may have mercy upon all.
The word of the Lord.
ALLELUIA Matthew 4:23
Alleluia. Jesus was preaching the Gospel of the kingdom and healing every infirmity among the people. Alleluia.
“O woman, great is your faith!”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew15:21-28)
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 readings repeat the biblical concept that from the beginning God planned to gather all peoples together into one flock. Isaiah tells us in the first Reading that even the foreigners who come to the Lord, who love the name of the Lord, and live faithfully, will be brought to the mountain of the Lord to live joyfully in the house of prayer. St Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, reminds us in the second Reading,”… by the mercy shown to you, they also may receive mercy.” Jesus praises the faith of a Canaanite woman and grants her request despite belonging to a foreign region.
Salvation is not meant only for the house of Israel. No one is excluded from God’s love and care. It is not meant only for those who belong to our church; it includes all categories of people: the foreign immigrant who lives on our streets, the outsider who is not a member of our church, the public sinner whom the society abhors, and the criminal who languishes in the prison cells. As Christians, our attitude must be one of openness, understanding and acceptance of people of all communities, creeds, regions, languages, social standards and character traits. The reason is that Jesus died and rose for all, and he is the Lord and Saviour of all. God cares for all his children without exception.