God is always ready to give his people another chance. When his people turned their backs on him, he allowed them to suffer the consequences. But in today’s first reading from Jeremiah 31, the Lord says, “With age-old love I have loved you; so I have kept my mercy toward you. Again I will restore you, and you shall be rebuilt.” God is always ready to restore us, too.
In the Gospel reading from Matthew 15, a woman comes and asks Jesus to heal her daughter. The woman was a Canaanite, not a daughter of Israel. Jesus in essence tells her that He will not do it; He was sent to the children of Israel. He denies her request not once but twice. Yet the woman persists. Jesus says to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.”
I always like to tell people that God always answers our prayers. Now, he many not answer them in the way we think he should, or in the time frame we would like. Perhaps the most important concept to grasp is that sometimes the answer to our prayer is no. But that doesn't mean no forever. Perhaps it just means no for now. If that's the case, take the example of the woman in today's Gospel. Even though Jesus said no twice, she persisted in her request. So should we.
Father, give us the grace to be persistent in prayer. Teach us to never give up hope, and to constantly ask for your mercy. Amen.
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