Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

This story in the gospel today is an eloquent example of the unshakeable determination of a mother. There seems to be no limit to what a mother will go through for the sake of her child. A mother doesn’t give up easily. A mother will do anything, brave anything, suffer anything, and endure anything, for the sake of her children. John Lonergan, retired Governor of Mountjoy Prison, said; ‘In all my years in the prison service I have not met five prisoners who have not had a good relationship with their mothers. The mothers never fail to visit and they never fail to take responsibility. We see them every day, mothers with maybe more than one drug addict in the family, queuing to visit the son/daughter in jail, living out their lives with no resources, no support, nothing. It is unbelievable, considering the amount of pressure that mothers come under and the amount of torture they have to go through because their children get into trouble or into crime. The mother in the gospel today must have been delighted when Jesus finally answered her prayers. It meant that all her trouble, all her begging, all her embarrassment, had not been in vain. This woman is an example to us of faith, humility, perseverance and love. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman you have great faith. She is a model of what could be called tough faith. Faith doesn’t always make things easy. Some people think that if we have enough faith life will be all plain sailing for you. But this is not so. Faith doesn’t shied us from the hard knocks of life and death. My mother often said to me why is that the good people seem to have all the problems. Many times life is an uphill battle. Life can be at times a desperate struggle, with our circumstances our temptations our sorrows and ourselves. Perhaps a job is lost, or an exam failed, maybe a relationship breaks, bitterness and jealousies among family members, sickness comes our way, unexpected adverse medical tests, or someone close to us dies. It is because we have faith we refuse to give up, to lose hope. Faith impels us to persevere, to struggle on, often with no guarantee of a happy outcome. Faith is not a magic wand. It requires humility, courage, and perseverance and above all love. Our gospel story today shows us that a mother never gives up. Neither does a person with faith.