20th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)
"Faith made visible ..."
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 84(83):10-11 – “Turn Your eyes, O God, our shield; and look on the face of Your anointed one; one day within Your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere.”
First Reading: Is 56:1, 6-7 – “I will bring foreigners to my holy mountain.”
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8 – “O God, let all the nations praise you!”
Second Reading: Rom 11:13-15, 29-32 – “The gifts and the call of God for Israel are irrevocable.”
Alleluia: Mt 4:23 – “Alleluia, alleluia. Jesus proclaimed the Gospel of the kingdom and cured every disease among the people. Alleluia, alleluia.”
Gospel: Mt 15:21-28 – “O woman, great is your faith!”
Communion Antiphon: Ps 130(129):7 – “With the Lord there is mercy; in Him is plentiful redemption.”
How many of you are more likely to listen to a news report or read a newspaper article if the headline shocks you? This past week, I just think of the headlines surrounding COVID and we’re rapidly approaching 200K deaths, the naming of Democratic Vice-Presidential nominee Kamala Harris shocked some people, and know that I’ve been doing quite a bit more reading and watching over the past few days. Well, I know a pastor in a parish in Pennsylvania (he was a classmate in the seminary) that did something very interesting a few summers ago. What would have been last Sunday, a week early ... with the regular church bulletin ... he handed out the readings that corresponded to this weekend’s readings and he gave them an assignment. In order to get them to pay closer attention to the Liturgy of the Word … he made them pretend that that they were reporters or editors who had to come up with the headline for the Gospel story we just heard.
Here are a few sample headlines from that exercise …
“Foreign lady won’t take no for an answer.”
“Persistent, clever woman gets a ‘yes’ from Jesus.”
“‘Send the lady away,’ Jesus’ followers urge him.”
“Jesus and a pagan woman talk about dogs and food scraps.”