All are Welcome

Saturday 15th August 2020

All are Welcome

This is one of the rare occasions when we find Jesus in conversation with a woman who is not only a Gentile and a pagan but belongs to a nation noted for its traditional hostility to the Jewish people. Totally convinced that Jesus can be of assistance in a hopeless situation, the Canaanite woman comes forward, kneels at His feet and asks for her daughter to be cured. The disciples, embarrassed and unable to cope with her cry of desperation, want Jesus to send her away as quickly as possible. Nevertheless Jesus does not regard this as an obstacle.

He puts her faith to the test and grants her request because she has shown more trust in him than His own people. This encounter between Christ and the Canaanite woman indicates that God has no favourites and nobody is excluded from His company. His message was not the exclusive property of the Jewish people but the good news to be shared among all peoples and nationalities. His whole mission is to break down barriers and to remove walls of division and prejudice.

This gospel confronts us with our own tendency to cause conflict by promoting exclusiveness. We might be biased against people simply because their political and religious outlook differs from our own. We fail to remember that no seats are reserved in heaven for any particular following. God does not discriminate but welcomes all who believe in Him, who ask for His mercy and seek to do His will. In a community of faithful, everyone should be made welcome no matter how they may be dressed or how unattractive they may be. The good news is that everyone can call upon God in their need and receive His mercy because unlike us, He has time for everybody.

Be well and stay safe!

Fr. Arsenio

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