WordFromOurPastorMy sisters and brothers in Christ,

Our readings today speak strongly about the inclusion of all peoples in the love of God. God chooses His people and God chooses a particular people to show forth His love and mercy. That never means that all other people are excluded.

Our minds and hearts too often think in terms of exclusion: If I am chosen, you are not! If you are chosen, I am not! But God seems not to work that way in the Scriptures. God chooses and His choices do not exclude.

The Prophet Isaiah, in the first reading today, speaks with depth about the those who are not part of the Chosen People. His conclusion is that the temple of the Lord is a house of pray for all peoples.

The Letter to the Romans gives the reasoning of Saint Paul for never excluding the Jewish people. Even though there is a New Covenant, God
never goes back on His Old Covenant.

Again, we hear that one choice does not exclude other choices. To love one person does not mean to hate other persons or even to reject them. Rather we must respond to God’s love for us and recognize that God loves others as well.

The Gospel from Saint Matthew today speaks again of the inclusion of others in the love and mercy of God through Christ Jesus. Jesus has strong words that He is sent only for the lost sheep of the House of Israel. Yet in the end the faith of the Canaanite women prevails. Love seems always to prevail over exclusion.

We must live this same type of love. This is a lovewhich is particular and yet universal. It is a love that recognizes individuals and their gifts and yet does not put down others. It is a love that sees the gifts and responses of the poor and the downtrodden. It is a love that recognizes that we ourselves are poor, but rich in love and compassion when we seek the Lord.

May this love of Christ form us as His followers so that we are formed by His Word, formed by all that touches our lives and responding with His love.

Father Jesus