Fr Michael Rasicci’s homily for the 12th Sunday after Pentecost, 08/20/2023, Calvary Episcopal Church, Batavia, IL.

In the first lesson, Joseph forgives his brothers for selling him into slavery in Egypt and saves his family and all Israelites from five years of famine. In the second lesson, Paul shares that God’s gifts and calling are irrevocable, In the Gospel today, Jesus shares first that a person is defiled not by what he or she may eat, but by what comes out of his/her heart. While Jesus has told His disciples to search first for the lost people of Israel, he listens to a Canaanite mother who comes to him for her daughter. She tells Him that even dogs eat crumbs that drop from their master’s table. Jesus tells her that “Great is your faith.” Her daughter was healed from that moment on.

Through our baptism, we, too, have been given gifts and are called by God. We need to follow Christ’s example of loving, faith, and forgiveness. Forgiveness does not always mean reconciliation–especially in cases of any form of abuse. Forgiveness means letting go–and letting God. Ask God today to help you be more forgiving and see what new comes forward in your life.

(Readings: Genesis 45:1-15; Psalm 133; Romans 11:1-2a, 29 – 32; Matthew 15:10 – 20, 21 – 28 

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