Great Faith

In January 2020, our country recorded its first ever Covid-19 case. I worked for a government institution at that time, and was given the responsibility of leading the Covid-19 task force amidst the challenges of a possible outbreak. For the first six months, we were able to manage and there were “zero cases,” but when August came, the cases ballooned in a short span of time. Those were some of the darkest days of my life. The situation worsened as a result of social exclusion, stigma in society, and the risk of infection. I became physically strained from lack of sleep after working 12-hour shifts while wearing PPE. It went on for months and the struggle seemed endless.

My experience as a medical frontliner made me realize one important truth—“God alone is enough.” God himself is my hope and he was there for me when things seemed bleak. He became my solace, and I continued to pray unceasingly, “Lord, help me.” In my desperation, I found Jesus and He never left me

In the Gospel, a desperate Canaanite woman pleaded with Jesus to exorcise a demon from her daughter. He showed himself indifferent, saying that he had been sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. But this woman’s great faith touched Jesus’ heart, and he granted her plea.

As a “priest-in-process,” I am challenged to always ground my trust in Jesus, for there is always grace and mercy in difficult circumstances. It encourages me to have a humble and ardent faith since, in the end, the love of God will always prevail.

By: Sem. Peter John D. Arao

Today’s Gospel

Matthew 15:21-28

At that time Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out,
“Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David!
My daughter is tormented by a demon.”
But he did not say a word in answer to her.
His disciples came and asked him,
“Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.”
He said in reply,
“I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
But the woman came and did him homage, saying, “Lord, help me.”
He said in reply,
“It is not right to take the food of the children
and throw it to the dogs.”
She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps
that fall from the table of their masters.”
Then Jesus said to her in reply,
“O woman, great is your faith!
Let it be done for you as you wish.”
And her daughter was healed from that hour.

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