I remember in my first
years in the seminary the Father Rector used to speak to us about God's mercy,
since he himself had experienced the Lord's forgiveness. In this same direction,
he advised us to read some spiritual books that could help us understand and
have a personal relationship with God, a relationship that necessarily involves
recognizing ourselves in need of God and his forgiveness. The expression:
"Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David!", is one of those phrases that remained
engraved in my memory (I would say that in my spiritual memory).
While this phrase reminds me of my need for God and his forgiveness, it also reminds me of the need to work on myself, especially in the virtue of humility, since only the humble know how to recognize and accept the fact that there is a personal need that only God can help to overcome.
In today's Gospel (Mt 15: 21-28), a Canaanite woman appears insistently begging Jesus for his mercy on behalf of someone she loves: her daughter. The simplicity with which this woman asks Jesus for his mercy is as great as the cunning with which she will respond to Jesus when he seems to refuse to accept her request. In that woman neither faith nor love were overcome by an apparent refusal of Jesus. Her faith and love shone even brighter when she was able to give a response so bold that even Jesus himself was amazed.
May our faith, love and trust in Jesus strengthen us all spiritually so that when faced with the needs of life we can pray sure that Jesus listens to us and will respond to our needs, for He who loves us so much also cares for us.
Fr. Carlos Flores, OSA