The WORD in other words 2021 by Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD (DYRF, University of San Carlos, Cebu)
Wednesday 18th Week in Ordinary Time
One experience I cannot forget when I was a parish priest is when a young lady parishioner, tormented by an evil spirit, shrieked and struggled before the altar as the smoke of burning incense brushed against her skin. At the start of the noon prayer, she levitated one meter above the floor; when the prayer ended, she was back on the floor as if nothing happened.
Today’s gospel narrates about a woman who showed steadfast faith for her daughter who was afflicted by evil. Convinced that Jesus was the Messiah, she insistently asked him to heal her daughter and was never disheartened by his initial response. Jesus referred to her faith as “great” (Matthew 15:28) and reminded us of the persistent widow (Luke 18:1-8) in one of the parables. In the end, her “great” faith was rewarded.
This encounter shows that God’s grace is given to all who believe. God indeed desires all people to be saved. (1 Timothy 2:4). Jesus bridges the gap between God and people. Delayed answers to prayers must bring out a more considerable measure of faith. The woman, instead of despairing, pursued her request, appealing to His mercy.
We often put timelines to our prayers or sometimes resent God for delaying answers to our requests. But we are also persistent despite the stumbling blocks to our requests. God has always shown his might despite our “little faith.”
St. John Vianney, said that “through prayer, we receive a foretaste of heaven and something of paradise comes down upon us.” May we experience heaven unfolding in our own life through prayer.