Welcome to St. Ambrose ! We are so glad you are able to join us today to celebrate the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time. ‘Charity begins at home’ can be a very practical and wise guideline. It can also be used selfishly, and on occasion, even unjustly. It can be a coded way of saying what we have we hold. It can be an attitude of heart in an individual, a family, a neighborhood, a profession or even a country.
We may see traces of it in Jesus himself. He was a Jewish boy through and through. He belonged to a race for whom God’s choice of them had led for many to an attitude that God’s gifts to them were exclusively for them. For example, Jesus’ power of healing in today’s Gospel.
Was that what prompted Jesus to refuse the Canaanite woman’s request at first asking? Maybe she was an outsider. He quickly reflected and relented, helped by the disciples’ pragmatic pressure or the woman’s persevering plea.
In our time, this judgmental exclusion may be growing insidiously even among religious people and their practices. In times of change, uncertainty and fear, we feel free to put up the barriers individually or collectively no matter what the reality of others’ needs.
One message we could comfortably take from this Gospel is the value of persevering prayer but the more serious challenge is to explore where each of us may exclude from our lives the poor, the disabled, the homeless, the less educated, etc…
Have a great week—stay well. Please keep me in your prayers as you all are always in mine.
Fr. Bryan Dalton, Pastor