Soul Food for Sundays

Soul Food for Sunday 20th August 2023, the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reflections 20th August 2023
Matthew 15:21-28

The Author: Ronan Barry
calendar_today Date: August 3, 2023 - 2 minutes read

We can all remember a time when a parent stayed strong for us. We can remember times when we were ill, or in need of a listening ear and our mother or father came to listen and respond.  Today we heard a similar tale from the Canaanite woman who pleaded with Jesus for help.

Like somebody taking their case to the Liveline radio programme, or the Irish Independent about an ill child or the need for a medical card, she was not letting Jesus off the hook.

Jesus saw her faith but ensured that everyone else also saw her faith.  She was not part of the local religious sphere and was considered a foreigner, comparable to today’s refugees or asylum-seekers.

Jesus responded to her plea for help through the cure of her child’s illness and praising her faith.

The Canaanite woman reminds us of other anonymous people in the gospel such as the rich young man or the Samarian women. She is like each of us, she is every woman, man and child, seeking an answer to their prayers, their deepest needs.

The Sky Belongs To You – Richard Carter 

An Iranian who was homeless and seeking asylum here in London said, ‘I often think I have nothing, nothing here. I have lost my home and my family, and my country and people think I chose this. I do not belong. And yet when I look at the sky, I remember that the sky belongs to everyone. It cannot be taken away. When I was locked up, I used to look out of the window and remember that. This prison was theirs, but the sky belonged to me too. They could not take it away. Who would not give everything for that sky?’

Photo by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash

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Ronan Barry

Ronan is Director of Spiritan Mission Ireland, set up in 2017 to respond, in line with Spiritan charism, to the current context of the Irish Spiritan Province and Church. He was part of the Spiritan education team for over ten years. He lives with his family in Kildare.