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Wednesday, August 4, 2021

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St. John Mary Vianney

Numbers 13:1-2, 25—14:1, 26-29, 34-35
Psalm 106:6-7, 13-14, 21-23
Matthew 15:21-28

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keep the faith

“Jesus then said in reply, ‘Woman, you have great faith!’ ” —Matthew 15:28

The Canaanite woman cried out to Jesus: “ ‘Lord, Son of David, have pity on me! My daughter is terribly troubled by a demon.’ He gave her no word of response” (Mt 15:22-23). She kept shouting. Jesus replied, “My mission is only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Mt 15:24). She pleaded, “Help me, Lord!” (Mt 15:25) Jesus answered: “It is not right to take the food of sons and daughters and throw it to the dogs” (Mt 15:26). She insisted (Mt 15:27). Her wish came to pass; “that very moment her daughter got better” (Mt 15:28). Why did her daughter get better? Her daughter was delivered not because of the mother’s persistence or persuasiveness but because of the woman’s great faith (Mt 15:28).

This part of the Bible is often misinterpreted as an exhortation to persistence in prayer, as if the Lord doesn’t want to help us and needs to be persuaded. However, He wants to help us more than we want His help. He loves us more than we love ourselves. It’s obvious after dying on the cross for us that the Lord doesn’t need to be persuaded to love us.

“Is it possible that He Who did not spare His own Son but handed Him over for the sake of us all will not grant us all things besides?” (Rm 8:32) When it looks as if we’re persuading the Lord, we’re actually persuading ourselves, wrestling with doubt, and struggling to express our faith.

Prayer:  Father, give me faith to move the mountain of doubt within me (Mt 17:20).

Promise:  “That very moment her daughter got better.” —Mt 15:28

Praise:  St. John Mary Vianney’s imperturbable patience drew many sinners back to God. He often spent over ten hours daily hearing Confessions.


Rescript:  "In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat for the publication One Bread, One Body covering the time period from August 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021. Reverend Steve J. Angi, Vicar General, Chancellor, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio January 12, 2021"

The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.