Numbers 13:1-2, 25-14:1, 26-29, 34-35
Matthew: 15:21-28


A line in one of Billy Ocean’s Songs is: ’ When the going gets tuff, it’s the tuff that keep going.’ This, in some ways, can be applied to God’s Word from the first Old Testament Reading today.

The situation displayed before us is reminiscent of many similar situations in our own life. When a deep struggle arises, we can easily forget the many blessings that have come to us and lifted us up in the past.

Our ancestors in faith in the Old Testament did have the going tuff after their liberation through the Waters of the Red Sea. But as various obstacles arose, they very quickly blamed the Lord God for the nasty predicament that they were in…….eg. Thirst! Snakes! Wandering in circles for 40 years in the Desert. However, as we see from the development in their experience of Salvation, the Lord God responded to their cries for help. Even though the Lord God was blamed in being slow in responding….’He heard the cry of their appeal.’

 It’s a fact that over the centuries, faces have changed, but the message remains the same! Our God will ‘new life’ for us, happiness, and peace. It is up to us to take a deep breath when faced with all-consuming problems and work hard to see the saving hand of God calling us to something outside our limited vision.

The Gospel beautifully takes this theme up with the plea from the Canaanite Woman. She remembered that our God is One who saves, and in Jesus, the saving hand was at work! What’s our take on this?

Kevin Walsh is a priest in the Diocese of Parramatta in Sydney. He has been formed in the Passionist tradition, and Ministers to the Aged, the Sick, the Dying and the Bereaved.