20th Sunday in Ordinary Time - A - August 20, 2017
How do we overcome prejudice? One simple and effective way is to share what we have in common with others. The higher the value we share, the easier we tear down walls that divide us. The ultimate value we can share, of course, is faith.
FIRST READING The author of Isaiah 56 addressed the prejudice returning Jews had against the local populace that were not forced into exile by the Babylonians. These locals were accused with idolatry and marrying pagans. In the eyes of the faithful returnees, these people weren’t good enough to rebuild the city and the Temple. Not good enough for God? God had other ideas.
PSALM Psalm 67 took the blessing found in Numbers 6:24-26 and applied it to all peoples, not just the Israelites. The Lord was God of all. He blesses all, so all should praise him.
SECOND READING In his letter to the Romans, St. Paul reminded his audience that just because God blessed some people, his Chosen people, that did not mean that the blessed could treat others with disdain. God loves all. He blesses some, in order to bring blessing to all.
GOSPEL In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus announced that he had come to serve the “lost sheep of Israel.” That statement did not stop a Gentile woman from placing trust in the Lord and receiving a healing for her demon-possessed daughter. This narrative reminds us that the differences we have are to be overcome by faith in Jesus.
DAILY READINGS Readings for the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
FEAST OF THE ASSUMPTION August 15
CHILDREN’S READINGS In the story for the first reading, we follow up on Sammy, Jamie, and Chuck. All three boys were different. They came from different countries and had different faiths. But, they shared something in common. They were friends. God wants us to share friendship, despite our differences. In the story for the gospel, Mrs. Ashley read the story about Jesus and the foreign woman. Three students in her class had three different reactions. In the end, however, all three agreed that, no matter who we are, God loves everyone in the world.
FAMILY ACTIVITY Discuss the meaning of the term “dog” with your family. What are the positive and negative aspects of the term? How would you feel if someone called you a “dog?” If your family has a dog, how does you dog respond to you?