A Homily – The Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

First Reading – Isaiah 56:1, 6-7 ©

Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 66(67):2-3, 5-6, 8 ©

Second Reading – Romans 11:13-15, 29-32 ©

Gospel Acclamation – John 10:27

Alternative Acclamation – Matthew 4:23

The Gospel According to Matthew 15:21 – 28 ©




The Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)





This is the promise of God, the creator of the universe. God promises to save all people.


It is God’s will that all people come to the mountain Isaiah spoke to us about, God will’s that we all ascend it, take a seat at the table and ,make the holy offering of our lives to God, a sacred gift to be shared with all.


Be mindful, the conditions that the prophet sets out for a seat at the table, are conditions that God fully intends for everyone of God’s children to meet.


God will lead the way, have no fear.


We cannot exhaust the patience of the divine; the integrity of God is everlasting.


Consider the words of the psalmist:


The psalmist is right to ask God to bless all peoples and all nations; to have pity and to merciful, as we pray we look forward to the promise of God fulfilled.


Know this!


God is not confined to one place, nor to one time, neither does God belong to one people, one nation, one church or one tribe.


God, who created the universe, God is the God of everyone.


Praise the fairness of God; ask for God’s blessing, not just four yourself but for everyone.


Be mindful of the meandering mind of the apostle.


Saint Paul often allows himself to wander into legalisms that distract us from the way, erecting barriers to the faith and hope which enkindle love and light the path that Jesus set before us.


Skip across the mire, do not get bogged down in these tricks of the mind, look to the other side of the morass and see this, the essential truth:


It is god’s will to show mercy to every human being. God, the creator of the universe intends to save us all.


Know this!


The sheep do not choose the shepherd; the shepherd who chooses the sheep.


Everything and everyone belongs to the divine, the divine essence infuses everything and the words indwells us all.


There is just the one shepherd, one sheepfold.


Listen for the voice of the shepherd and do not trouble yourself with how the shepherd speaks to you, in what language, in what text. Do not concern yourselves with how the shepherd speaks to your sister or your brother, to your neighbors or the stranger; know that the shepherd speaks to them to, and they listen as they are able.


Everyone who is, everyone without exception follows in the way of God, there is no other way. Do not trouble yourself if you do not understand the journey that another person is on, God is guiding them, just as God is guiding you.


If you resist God will be patient; if you resist God will wait for you, just as God waits for everyone. The God of Jesus Christ, the good shepherd, the God of all people, the God of creation, our God is love; love is patient and love is kind.


Have faith!


God will not lose a single one of us. Neither will any one of us lose God. No matter what; God is with us.


There is not place, not a single place where God is not.


Be mindful of the scriptures, especially when the authors are attempting to fit their narrative of the life of Jesus into a picture that makes it look as if he is fulfilling a prediction made by a prophet from past ages.


In these cases the literal story is always false and cannot be relied on for anything, even to provision a metaphor, if a narrative rests on false foundation even an allegory which comes from it should be treated guardedly.


This is the truth, the future is not predetermined, it never has been and it never will be.


God, the creator of the universe made us, and creation free.


Prophets only speak of the future for two reasons; to engender hope and to warn of danger, there is no other purpose and there is no predictive power in it.


The words of a prophet are always addressed to the people in their own time, in their own place. Prophecy is never meant to guide the lives of future generations, except in cases when the prophet is addressing an issue of universal truth, such as the nature of justice itself, which is unchanging.


Consider the Gospel reading for today:


There are multiple currents taking place in this passage.


Note well, this is the only place in any of the Gospels, in all of the scriptures where Jesus is rebuked and corrected by another person.


The woman pleads to Jesus as the son of God for aid and is among the first people in the entire gospel narrative to recognize Jesus as King, and the Son of David.


Also of enormous significance is the fact that the person who corrects him is a woman, and she is not Jewish, she is not instructed in the law and yet she knows better than Jesus how his gifts are to be directed.


Pay attention to the disciples. They uncharacteristically call for Jesus to give the woman what she asks for. However, they are not moved by the spirit of love and mercy, but rather they bothered by her, and her insistence.


For his part Jesus is not inclined to give in to her demands; he refuses her, stating in error that his mission and his gifts are only intended for his fellow Israelites.


Then the woman asks again for his help.


Jesus responds by comparing her to a dog, stating that it would not be right to take food away from the children of Israel and give it to the unworthy.


At this point she corrects Jesus; she humbly accepts being likened to a dog, and uses the analogy to make her point, stating that even dogs are fed scraps from their master’s hand beneath the table.


Jesus stands corrected and remarks on the strength of her faith, suggesting to the disciples that because her faith is so strong she will receive the gift she has asked for, a gift of healing for her daughter.


Here the gospel writers get it wrong, again, make the entire matter transactional: a demonstration of faith in exchange for the miracle.


Know this!


God, the creator of the universe does not offer God’s favor in exchange for anything. God gives because God loves. God loves all people. God loves all of God’s children without exception, without qualification.



First Reading – Isaiah 56:1, 6-7 ©


I Will Bring Foreigners to My Holy Mountain


Thus says the Lord: Have a care for justice, act with integrity, for soon my salvation will come and my integrity be manifest.


Foreigners who have attached themselves to the Lord to serve him and to love his name and be his servants – all who observe the sabbath, not profaning it, and cling to my covenant – these I will bring to my holy mountain. I will make them joyful in my house of prayer. Their holocausts and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar, for my house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.



Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 66(67):2-3, 5-6, 8 ©


Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.


O God, be gracious and bless us

and let your face shed its light upon us.

So will your ways be known upon earth

and all nations learn your saving help.


Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.


Let the nations be glad and exult

for you rule the world with justice.

With fairness you rule the peoples,

you guide the nations on earth.


Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.


Let the peoples praise you, O God;

let all the peoples praise you.

May God still give us his blessing

till the ends of the earth revere him.


Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.



Second Reading – Romans 11:13-15, 29-32 ©


With Israel, God Never Takes Back His Gifts or Revokes His Choice


Let me tell you pagans this: I have been sent to the pagans as their apostle, and I am proud of being sent, but the purpose of it is to make my own people envious of you, and in this way save some of them. Since their rejection meant the reconciliation of the world, do you know what their admission will mean? Nothing less than a resurrection from the dead! God never takes back his gifts or revokes his choice.


Just as you changed from being disobedient to God, and now enjoy mercy because of their disobedience, so those who are disobedient now – and only because of the mercy shown to you – will also enjoy mercy eventually. God has imprisoned all men in their own disobedience only to show mercy to all mankind.



Gospel Acclamation – John 10:27


Alleluia, alleluia!


The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice, says the Lord, I know them and they follow me.





Alternative Acclamation – Matthew 4:23


Alleluia, alleluia!


Jesus proclaimed the Good News of the kingdom and cured all kinds of sickness among the people.





The Gospel According to Matthew 15:21 – 28 ©


The Canaanite Woman Debates with Jesus and Saves Her Daughter


Jesus left Gennesaret and withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. Then out came a Canaanite woman from that district and started shouting, ‘Sir, Son of David, take pity on me. My daughter is tormented by a devil.’ But he answered her not a word. And his disciples went and pleaded with him. ‘Give her what she wants,’ they said ‘because she is shouting after us.’ He said in reply, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.’ But the woman had come up and was kneeling at his feet. ‘Lord,’ she said ‘help me.’ He replied, ‘It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the house-dogs.’ She retorted, ‘Ah yes, sir; but even house-dogs can eat the scraps that fall from their master’s table.’ Then Jesus answered her, ‘Woman, you have great faith. Let your wish be granted.’ And from that moment her daughter was well again.



The Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)