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.”
Have you ever set a goal to do something? Perhaps lose weight, run a 5K or a marathon or save for a vacation or retirement. You only reach the goal through persistence. You keep at it, never giving up, never losing hope. This is how our prayer life should be. An old mentor of mine used to call it stick-to-it-iveness. The woman in today’s Gospel story gives a great example of spiritual stick-to-it-iveness.
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.