‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all peoples’
God’s love, mercy and salvation are for everyone. Although the Israelites were known as God’s chosen people, the story of their beginning, their time in exile, slavery and rejection is also a story of God’s love for the whole of humanity. Each of our readings this Sunday approaches this truth from a different perspective.
The prophet Isaiah (First Reading) exhorts us to act with justice and integrity. He foresees a time when anyone who loves and follows the way of the Lord will be part of the salvation covenant.
The Psalm is a song of praise ringing with this truth, telling of a time when all nations will share in the loving light of God.
Paul, writing to the early Gentile church in Rome, describes his conviction that their personal conversion and belief in God will help to fulfil God’s promise to bring salvation to everyone, and not just to the chosen people. (Second Reading)
Today’s Gospel presents an uncharacteristically abrupt Jesus initially rejecting the pleas of a desperate Canaanite woman. And yet it is this woman’s determined faith and sense of humour that challenges Jesus to step beyond the boundaries of his initial mission, thus revealing the truth that his salvation and healing is for all people – no exceptions.
Let us pray that we will be able to recognise and have the courage to respond to faith expressed in surprising places. We ask too that we will each play our part in revealing God’s love to the world.