“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).
In this life, no one has it all. We all have our fair share of problems, issues, fears, and troubles but our happiness depends on our focus. If we focus only on our problems and take our gaze away from God, we become like the Israelites in today’s first reading or 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 potentials, they saw the giants but they knew God is greater than these giants. They were not afraid because they had a strong faith in God. It is when you encounter a serious problem that you are able to know whether or not you have faith; whether you will move forward like Caleb and Joshua or whether you will 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 who was 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 food of children and throw it to the dogs.” In response, she said: “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”
Jesus was touched by the depth of her faith. 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 at first was “No”, she continued praying until she eventually got a “Yes.”
According to St. John Chrysostom “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. For when God denies us anything, it is no less a favour than if He granted it. For we know not as He knows what is good for us.”
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, teach me to wipe off my tears and focus on you instead. Amen.
Bible Study: Numbers 13:1-2.25-14:1.26-29.34-35, Psalm106 and Matthew 15:21-28).