But Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, ‘Let us go up at once, and occupy it; for we are well able to overcome it.’ Then the men who had gone up with him said, ‘We are not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.’” (Numbers 13:30-31).
We all have our fair share of problems, issues, fears, and troubles, but our happiness depends on what we focus on. If we focus only on our problems and take our gaze away from God, we become like the Israelites in today’s first reading, who cried instead of marching into the Promised Land. We become like Peter, who began to sink when he noticed the waves of the sea around him.
Caleb and Joshua acknowledged their difficulty, but they also saw their potential, they saw the giants, but they knew God was greater than these giants. They were not afraid because they had a strong faith in God. When you encounter a serious problem, you can know whether or not you have faith, whether you will move forward like Caleb and Joshua, or sit down to cry your brains out like the Israelites.
In our Gospel passage today, a woman came to Jesus seeking a solution for her daughter, possessed by a demon. At first, Jesus ignores her. She kept calling out until the disciples of Jesus appealed to Jesus to send her away. Jesus said: “It is not right to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” She responded, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”
The depth of her faith touched Jesus. He said: “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly. Here is an example of a woman who fixed her gaze on the greatness of Jesus (the brighter side) rather than on the size of her problem. Even though all she got initially was “No”, she continued praying until she eventually got a “Yes.”
St. John Chrysostom states, “Whether we obtain what we ask, or do not obtain, let us persevere always in prayer. And let us give thanks, not only when we obtain, but even when we suffer a repulse. When God denies us anything, it is no less favour than if He granted it. For we know not as He knows what is good for us.”
Let us pray: Almighty and ever-living God, teach me to wipe off my tears and focus on you instead. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Bible Study: Numbers 13:1-2,25-14:1,26-29,34-35, Ps. 106:6-7,13-14,21-23, Matthew 15:21-28).*
@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu