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Theology for the common man

20th Sunday in Ordinary Time A

Sunday, August 16, 2020

The message about salvation in Jesus Christ is spread everywhere out of Israel. Although the Israeli nation has first of all an access to this salvation because of Jesus, who was a Jewish man coming from the Jewish historical-cultural environment, the salvation is not automatically limited to only the Jewish nation. It assumes a grateful reception, cooperation and hospitable opening to others, meaning to those who are not Jewish as well. This is an essence of each mission: joyfully sharing the good news with others, because if something is good it cannot be limited only to a few, it has to be shared and spread everywhere. The conviction of the universal mission of salvation in Jesus Christ, out of and to the chosen nation only, is represented in today readings. The first reading speaks about an access to God’s worship to foreigners that they could also “ministering to him, loving the name of the Lord, and becoming his servants.” And, when they approach the Lord with joy following his commandments, then “their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be acceptable on the Lord's altar.” And the house of the Lord becomes “a house of prayer for all peoples.” St. Paul, naming himself “the apostle to the Gentiles”, by calling the pagan people to conversion, he wants to excite his Jewish kinsmen to healthy competition, to save at least some of them. Jesus speaking to a pagan Canaanite woman persuades himself to an authentic opening of her heart and then he gives her access to the fruits of his salvation; first, by healing her daughter, and later on by healing her heart. We all have been before pagan people but thanks to the grace of Christ we received an access to his gracious fruits of the salvation. Let’s show then our gratitude to this in forms of our Christian life, known to the world around us.