August 15, 2020: Reflection for the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time… August 16, 2020

by Phyllis Chandler, Notre Dame  Associate

Jesus proclaimed the Gospel of the kingdom and cured every disease among the people.  Mt.4:23

These words, taken from the “Alleluia” preceding today’s gospel, seem particularly fitting at this time in our history.  In fact, they are almost identical to the opening of a prayer I have been saying over the past months, titled “A Prayer Amid  A Pandemic.”  The opening of this prayer is as follows:

Jesus Christ, you traveled through towns and villages “curing every disease and illness.”

At your command, the sick were made well.  Come to our aid now, in the midst of the

global spread of the coronavirus, that we may experience your healing love.

The prayer then continues, calling on Jesus to be present to those who are sick, those who have died, their families, medical personnel, the leaders of nations, and those who claim invulnerability.  It closes by asking Our Lord to bring us peace and healing.

In today’s gospel, the Canaanite woman asks Jesus to heal her daughter who is possessed by a demon.  She pleads with Jesus, saying, “Lord, help me.”  Jesus says to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.”

How great is our faith?  Are we, too, asking Jesus for healing as the pandemic continues to rage around us?  While we are called to act prudently to prevent its spread, do we also trust in the healing love of Jesus to protect us?

Jesus Christ, heal us.