When one aims for higher office or position, the more difficult the challenges will be. You will have to give up something for another. Time will have to be reallocated while priorities change. Sometimes, there will be compromises that may be done, all for the end goal that one wants to achieve.
This is the same with our journey with the Lord. The deeper we are in our relationship with Him, there will be seemingly more difficult aspects that we will go through. While others look at it as such, it’ll be more joyful and easier because you know the prize is worth all the difficulties and struggles. You sacrifice material wealth and worldly honor because you know that Eternal Life is priceless and more important.
In the Gospel (Mt. 15: 21-28), Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon, when a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out, “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon.” Even Jesus’ silence, the disciples request to send her away and the “rude” reply that the Lord said could stop her from saying, “Lord, help me.” The sharp response of Jesus saying, “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs” didn’t discourage her pleading further, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.” Jesus granted her prayer because of her “great faith”.
This Canaanite woman, a pagan mother, proclaimed that Jesus is the Son of David, a faith which stands clearly apart from the lack of faith that the Lord sees among the people of Israel, their elders and even his home town of Nazareth.
Last night, I called my Aunt Diony to listen and talk to her about dealing with life’s challenges. With limited mobility brought about by community quarantine restrictions, we sometimes think that the Lord is silent and ignoring our prayers. We discussed that there are times when the Lord is allowing events to happen to test our faith, knowing He has equipped us with the strength to overcome it. The most difficult part is when you succumb to the temptation, especially when you lose your faith feeling that God isn’t answering your prayers. When this happens, you actually lose faith and trust in God, showing that your faith is easily shaken. A better response would be to think that this is actually a test, an invitation to turn to Him on a deeper level of faith and trust. God wants to move our faith from something that is wavering to one that is firm and stable, fostered by trust in His providence and mercy. He wants to sharpen our faith some more, so that we can withstand the more difficult challenges that we’ll encounter.
Today, let us reflect on the faith we have for Jesus: is it deeper enough for us to withstand the moments when He is silent?
Let us pray that we put more trust in Him and allow our faith to stand firm despite the challenges we face.
“O God, let all the nations praise you!” (cf. Ps. 67: 4)