In today’s scripture we hear the important message that God’s love, mercy, and salvation is extended to all people.
The prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 56:1-7) speaks about God’s deliverance of “foreigners”. Through the prophet, God is telling us that anyone who loves and serves God, anyone who is righteous and just, will benefit from God’s love, mercy, and salvation.
Saint Paul (Romans 11:13-32) speaks of God’s mercy being poured out to the gentiles, reminding us that while it was through the Jews that the world was reconciled, God’s salvation, won for us by Jesus, is now available to all.
And in today’s gospel (Matthew 15:21-28), we hear how Jesus, moved by the faithful perseverance of a gentile woman, answers her prayer and heals her ailing daughter. At the outset of this encounter between Jesus and the gentile woman Jesus emphasizes the prominent role that the Jewish people have played in salvation history and affirms that God’s covenant with the Jews is irrevocable. As this encounter unfolds however we see Jesus revealing God’s larger plan of salvation for all of humanity. Jesus makes the point that anyone who has faith in God, anyone who perseveres in their faith even amidst uncertainty, anyone who remains faithful to God even when God’s plan for them might seem hard to understand, anyone who remains steadfast no matter what life throws at them – that person will surely benefit from God’s mercy and saving grace.
God offers his love and salvation to all people. God simply asks us to believe in his saving power, to put our lives in his hands, to live by his law, to trust him.
God offers his love and salvation to all people. This offer is not dependent on race, nationality, or even specific religious practices. And what we take away from this is articulated well by Monsignor John Fell of Basking Ridge NJ – “any genuine religious faith must seek to join God’s people together… and all who profess faith in God must make it their mission to share God’s blessing with all of humanity”.
God offers his love and salvation to all people. This is a gift to us from our benevolent God. This gift is the foundation for our love and concern for each other, and our outreach to each other.
Today we can recommit ourselves to go forward in a spirit of solidarity, extending God’s gracious gift to all those we encounter.