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Faith to Move Mountains

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Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio - Catholic Resources OnlineThe Faith to Move Mountains

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Faith to Move Moutains, JezebelJesus heals the daughter of the Canaanite woman because her faith was so great.  He rebuked the disciples because their faith was too little.  Matthew's gospel here is teaching us something very important about the nature of Christian faith.

The apostles thought she was a nuisance and asked Jesus to get rid of her. Jesus had gone to the region of Tyre and Sidon, modern-day Lebanon, and a local woman approached him for a favor. This was pagan country, home turf of the infamous Jezebel. The inhabitants of these parts were fondly referred to as “dogs” by their Jewish neighbors, who viewed them as unclean.


Did Jesus too regard these people with disdain? At first glance it appears so. She cries out, “Lord, son of David, have pity on me!” and makes him aware that her daughter is troubled by a demon. He ignores her at first. Then he rebuffs her. “My mission is only to the lost sheep of Israel.” She is undaunted and, as if she did not hear him, insistently cries out: “Help me Lord!”


Then comes what many would take as a put down. Jesus says: “It is not right to take the food of sons and daughters and throw it to the dogs.” She could simply have taken offense and walked off in a huff.

Christ and the Cannanite WomanBut instead she perseveres, responding with humility and wit: “even the dogs eat the leavings that fall from their master’s table.”


Jesus could no longer resist: “Woman, you have great faith, your wish will come to pass.” And immediately, her daughter was delivered from the power of evil.

Many people think faith is belief that. Belief that God exists, or that Jesus is the Messiah. This woman certainly has this kind of belief. Though she is not a Jew, she calls Jesus “Son of David,” which means she believes that he is the anointed king of Israel foretold by the prophets.


Yet faith is more than belief that. It is belief in. To believe in someone is to trust him, to entrust something of value to him, even to entrust ones very self to him. Here, the woman is entrusting the destiny of her daughter to the man who stands before her. And her desire for her daughter’s salvation propels her to pursue him, to seek him tirelessly until she obtains what she believes he can provide.


Ye of little faith - Walking on Water - Faith to Move MountatinsJesus often rebukes his disciples for having little faith. Their faith is little because it cowers before every obstacle. This woman’s faith is great because it disregards all obstacles. He is the King of the Jews. She is a Gentile. She asks, he is silent. She asks two more times, he says no. She doesn’t care. She just keeps on coming.

Notice that though she is insistent, she is nonetheless humble. She does not dispute Jesus’ “preferential option for the Jews.” She does not arrogantly demand to be served first. She’ll settle for leftovers.


Wedding at Cana - Jesus' First Miracle - Faith to Move MoutainsJesus had come first for the people of Israel, then for the whole world. He was still in phase one of his mission. The time of the Gentiles had not yet come. But the great faith of this woman induces him to move forward the timetable. It reminds me of another woman of faith who moved forward Jesus’ timetable when the wedding guests had no more wine (Jn 2). His first response appeared to be a no, but her determined perseverance turned it into a yes that launched his public ministry.


There is a place in the gospels where Jesus says that faith can move mountains. Here we see that faith can move something even more formidable than mountains–it can move God himself.


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This was originally published in Our Sunday Visitor as a reflection upon the readings for the 207h Sunday in Ordinary Time, liturgical cycle A (Isaiah 56:1,6-7, Psalm 67, Romans 11:13-15, 29-32; Matthew 15:21-28). It is reproduced here with the permission of the author.


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Holy Land Pilgrimage



Where you inspired by Our Holy Father's visit to deepen your faith and get back to your roots? Come with us to the Holy Land Come and check out Dr. D'Ambrosio's video invitation!

December 27, 2011- January 5, 2012, and your reading of the Bible and experience of Holy Week will be different forever.

Don’t put it off – if you feel the tug of the Spirit, go for it. You and God together will find a way to make it happen!

For more details, visit our Holy Land Pilgrimage page! (You can even download your invitation form!)


Great Adventure Bible Time Line by Jeff Cavins - DVD
Bible Timeline StudyThe first in the series of Great Adventure Bible Study allows you to have Jeff Cavins as your personal Bible teacher in this one-of-a-kind DVD (or CD) series. This series offers a compelling overview of God’s plan of salvation. Developed by a converted protestant minister, this amazing series will help you develop a greater appreciation of scripture!

Adventures in Revelation 10-Week DVDs
 Great Adventure Bible Study, Adventures in Revelation The fourth foundational study of The Great Adventure Bible Study Series is here! In this intriguing look at one of the most talked-about books in Scripture, Jeff Cavins explores Revelation to demonstrate how the Kingdom established by Christ in His Church is intimately connected with the Kingdom of Heaven, especially through the celebration of the Mass.

Love that Lasts: A Vision for Christian Marriage - 3 CD
 Love that Lasts: A Vision for Christian Marriage - 3 CD “Love that Lasts: A Vision for Christian Marriage” is the fruit of years of both study and experience. Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio is an internationally known Catholic speaker, author, and media personality. But he is also a husband and father of five children who illustrates his teaching with an abundance of practical tips and humorous examples from his own family life. This trilogy of talks, originally given as a marriage retreat at the world famous Cooper Clinic in Dallas, is a perfect gift for engaged couples and newlyweds seeking to lay a solid foundation for the marriage and family. But it is also a superb tool to help refresh and renew married couples who have been together for many years.





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