Thursday – Persistence
The Syrophoenician woman in today's Gospel had persistence. There's no question about that. Her daughter was suffering, and she would go to any lengths to get Jesus to help.
Even when Jesus appeared to deny her request, the woman kept going. Jesus even said to her, “Let the children be fed first. For it is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” Many people would have taken great offense at this and stomped off in a huff. But the woman didn't give up so easily. Instead, she responded, “Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children's scraps.”
With these words, the woman cleverly passed Jesus' test. She revealed the depths of her persistence, faith, and humility. Jesus must have smiled when He granted the woman's request: “For saying this, you may go. The demon has gone out of your daughter.”
Friday – Confession and Forgiveness
Psalm 32 tells the story of confession and forgiveness. The psalmist begins with a beautiful truth:
“Blessed is he whose fault is taken away,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed the man to whom the Lord imputes not guilt,
in whose spirit there is no guile.”
Then he tells his hearers how they can obtain such a blessing. At first, he says, he tried to hide his guilt from God, but his sin weighed so heavily upon him that he began to waste away both spiritually and physically.
Finally, he cried out to God, confessing his sin, laying all his faults before the Lord, exposing the whole measure of his guilt. And God forgave him. It was as simple as that. God wiped out the sins and took away the guilt.
Then the psalmist was safe. He snuggled into God's sheltering arms, finally free and fully protected. And he was quick to advise others to confess their sins that they, too, might partake of God's generous, loving forgiveness.
Saturday – A Prayer
Jesus, You had pity on the crowds that flocked to You; have pity on all those who are seeking You today.
Jesus, You multiplied the bread and fish to provide a meal; may everyone have enough food today.
Jesus, You allowed Your disciples to distribute the bread and fish to the people; use us as Your instruments to distribute Your blessings today.
Jesus, You taught the crowd and Your disciples an important lesson about generosity; may we, too, learn that lesson today.