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Wednesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time

Daily Mass Readings for Wednesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time

Cycle 1 is used in odd numbered years and Cycle 2 is used in even numbered years. The gospel is the same for both years.

  • First Reading (Cycle 1) – Numbers 13:1-2, 25–14:1, 26a-29a, 34-35: The Lord commanded Moses to send men to explore the land of Canaan. Despite acknowledging its abundance, the majority of the scouts spread discouraging reports, leading to the people’s lack of faith and subsequent punishment of wandering in the desert for forty years.
  • First Reading (Cycle 2) – Jeremiah 31:1-7: The Lord promises restoration and blessing to the people of Israel. He declares that He will be their God, regather them from exile, and bring them back to their land where they will once again enjoy prosperity and rejoice.
  • Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 1) – Psalm 106: Remember us, O Lord, as You favor Your people. We have sinned, forgotten Your wonders, and tempted You, but You are the God who saves and shows mercy.
  • Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 2) – Jeremiah 31: The Lord, like a shepherd, will protect us with His care. The scattered Israelites will be gathered and redeemed, joyfully ascending to receive blessings from the Lord, who will turn their sorrows into joy.
  • GospelMatthew 15:21-28: A Canaanite woman approaches Jesus, pleading for her daughter’s deliverance from a demon. Despite initial resistance, Jesus commends her great faith and grants her request, healing her daughter.

Themes for the Daily Mass Readings for Wednesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time

  • Perseverance: The Canaanite woman’s persistence in seeking Jesus’ help for her daughter showcases the theme of perseverance in faith. Despite facing initial challenges, her determination leads to a profound encounter with Jesus.
  • Children of God: Jesus’ acknowledgment that the woman’s faith is “great” highlights the theme of believers being recognized as children of God through their faith and trust in Him.
  • Outsiders Embracing Faith: The Canaanite woman, as a non-Jewish outsider, exemplifies the theme of outsiders being welcomed into God’s Kingdom through their genuine faith, regardless of their background.
  • Humility and Faith: The woman’s humble request and unwavering faith reveal the interconnected themes of humility and faith, illustrating the disposition required to approach Jesus and receive His blessings.
  • Divine Mercy: Jesus’ response to the woman, despite the cultural barriers, underscores the theme of divine mercy and the inclusive nature of God’s salvation plan, available to all who believe.
  • Faith’s Impact: The passage illustrates how faith can have a impact on lives. The woman’s faith not only leads to her daughter’s healing but also highlights the spiritual transformation that occurs through encounters with Jesus.

She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.” Then Jesus said to her in reply, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.”

Matthew 14:30-31

Thoughts for Wednesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time

In the Gospel passage for Wednesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time, we encounter the inspiring story of the Canaanite woman who approaches Jesus, seeking healing for her daughter. Her unwavering faith and persistence in the face of apparent hesitation from Jesus teach us valuable lessons about prayer, patience, and trust in God’s goodness.

The Canaanite woman’s initial request and Jesus’s response might seem unexpected. However, her perseverance shines through as she refuses to be discouraged by his initial silence and the seemingly discouraging reply. Her steadfastness in continuing to ask for help showcases her deep trust in Jesus’s ability to heal her daughter.

In our own lives, we often face situations where we seek answers or solutions through prayer. Like the Canaanite woman, we might anticipate immediate responses or specific outcomes. Yet, just as Jesus’s initial response may appear puzzling, so might the timing and nature of God’s responses to our prayers.

This story reminds us that God’s ways are not always our ways. We may not understand the reasons behind delays or seemingly unanswered prayers. However, like the Canaanite woman, we are called to persist in prayer and trust in God’s goodness, even when circumstances appear challenging.

God’s timing and plans are perfect, even if they do not align with our expectations. In times of uncertainty, when we don’t receive what we ask for right away, we must remember to echo the Canaanite woman’s plea: “Lord, help me.” This humble and persistent attitude fosters a deep reliance on God’s providence and grace.

As we reflect on this passage, let us learn from the Canaanite woman’s faith and perseverance. May her example inspire us to remain steadfast in our prayers, even when answers seem delayed or unclear. Just as she trusted in Jesus’s goodness, may we also place our trust in God’s plan for us, knowing that His ways are always higher than our own.

Prayer for Wednesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time

Lord, help me. I need you everyday in my life. Sometimes you don’t give me the answer I am looking for me. I will continue to turn to you. Amen.

Homilies and Reflections for Wednesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time

Word On Fire: The Persistent Call of the Other

Bishop Robert Barron’s reflection for Wednesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time points out that the story of the Canaanite woman’s perseverance offers multiple layers of meaning. Traditionally, her persistence is highlighted as a virtue, reflecting the expansion of our will in prayer and the proper attitude of humility and boldness towards God. However, there’s also an ethical reading that focuses on the biblical emphasis on the “stranger, widow, and orphan.” This perspective reminds us that the Church, as the Body of Christ, encounters those in need who press upon us for help, friendship, and care. Amid our busy lives, the Christian response involves remembering the suffering and needs of others, even when they may seem demanding or inconvenient.

USCCB Reflection: Steadfast Trust in God’s Peace

This USCCB video reflection for Wednesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 focuses on the theme of having a steadfast heart that trusts in the Lord. The reflection draws from the psalmist’s words and emphasizes the challenges of daily life, the distractions that can cause fear and anxiety, and the longing for inner peace. The message centers on fixing our gaze on God, allowing Him to provide the abundant grace needed for all aspects of life. It also highlights the paradox of finding meaning and joy through selfless service to others, echoing the example set by Jesus. The reflection invites viewers to renew their trust in God’s presence on life’s journey and to center their lives around Him for a steadfast heart.

Word On Fire: A Lesson in Perseverance

Bishop Robert Barron’s reflection for Wednesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time explains that while Jesus’ primary mission was directed towards his fellow Jews, this encounter reveals the broader scope of God’s salvific plan for all of humanity. The woman, representing the world’s longing for God’s justice and mercy, reaches out to Jesus for help. Despite Jesus’ initial silence and indirect rebuke, her unyielding faith and perseverance shine through. This story teaches us the importance of persevering in prayer even in the face of challenges and setbacks. Just as the Canaanite woman’s faith pleased the Lord, our persistence in seeking God’s grace can lead us to a deeper connection with Him.

USCCB Reflection: Embracing God’s Personal Love

In this USCCB video reflection for Wednesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2, the Prophet Jeremiah’s message is explored, focusing on the personal and unique love that God has for each individual. The reflection highlights how we often struggle to believe that God loves us personally with all our strengths and weaknesses. It invites us to embrace the truth that God’s love is poured into our lives in specific ways, ultimately seen in the gift of Jesus. By recognizing and accepting this personal love, we are empowered to love one another and find healing, strength, and peace.

Frequently Asked Questions for Wednesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time

What date is Wednesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time?

The next date is Wednesday August 7, 2024.

What are the Mass readings for Wednesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time?

The Mass readings for Wednesday August 7, 2024 are:
First Reading (Cycle 1) – Numbers 13:1-2, 25–14:1, 26a-29a, 34-35: The Spies’ Report and Israel’s Lack of Faith
First Reading (Cycle 2) – Jeremiah 31:1-7: The Promise of Redemption for Israel
Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 1) – Psalm 106: Remembering God’s Faithfulness
Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 2) – Jeremiah 31: Restoration and Blessing for Israel
Gospel – Matthew 15:21-28: The Faith of a Canaanite Woman: Healing and Demonstrating Great Faith
See the readings section of this page for a longer summary of these readings for Wednesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time and links to the readings.

What are the themes for the Gospel for Wednesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time?

The gospel encourages believers to persist in their faith, regardless of challenges, and emphasizes the inclusivity of God’s Kingdom, where both Jews and non-Jews are welcomed based on their genuine trust in Jesus. It serves as a reminder that humble and persistent faith can lead to transformative encounters with Christ, bringing healing, salvation, and recognition as children of God.
See the themes section of this page for an expansion on these themes for Wednesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time. A reflection, prayer, and homily links are also available.

Why does Jesus initially seem hesitant to help the woman in the Gospel for Wednesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time (Matthew 15:21-28)?

At first, Jesus appears to test the woman’s faith by emphasizing His mission to the lost sheep of Israel. This exchange highlights her unwavering determination and her acknowledgment of Jesus’ authority even in her outsider status.

What lessons can we learn from the encounter between Jesus and the Canaanite woman in the Gospel for Wednesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time (Matthew 15:21-28)?

The encounter between Jesus and the Canaanite woman illustrates the power of faith and persistence in prayer. Despite initial resistance, the woman’s unwavering faith and humility lead Jesus to commend her and grant her request for her daughter’s healing. This passage encourages us to approach God with trust, even when faced with obstacles, knowing that our persistent faith can move His heart.

What can we learn from the Gospel for Wednesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time (Matthew 15:21-28) in our faith journey?

The story teaches us about the power of faith, humility, and persistence in prayer. The Canaanite woman’s example encourages us to approach God with unwavering faith, regardless of challenges or apparent obstacles. It also reminds us that God’s grace extends to all who sincerely seek Him, breaking down barriers and embracing all who come to Him in faith.

What is the significance of the scouts’ reports in the First Reading for Wednesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 (Numbers 13:1-2, 25–14:1, 26a-29a, 34-35)?

The scouts’ reports on the land of Canaan highlight the consequences of doubt and a lack of faith. While they acknowledge the land’s abundance, most of the scouts spread discouragement, causing the people to lose confidence in God’s promise. As a result, their lack of faith leads to a punishment of forty years of wandering in the desert before entering the Promised Land.

How does Responsorial Psalm for Wednesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 (Psalm 106) reflect on God’s mercy and the people’s actions?

Psalm 106 serves as a reflection on Israel’s history of forgetting God’s wonders, sinning, and testing His patience. Despite their shortcomings, the psalm acknowledges God’s saving mercy and His continued favor towards His people. This psalm reminds us of the significance of repentance, mercy, and God’s enduring love.

How can we apply the messages of these readings for Wednesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1 to our lives today?

The readings underscore the importance of faith, trust, and obedience in our relationship with God. The scouts’ lack of faith serves as a warning against succumbing to doubt and negativity. Psalm 106 reminds us to acknowledge our shortcomings, seek God’s mercy, and remember His wonders in our lives. The Gospel story encourages us to approach God with faith and perseverance in our prayers, trusting that His compassion and power can bring about transformative change. Overall, these readings call us to cultivate a strong faith, trust in God’s promises, and rely on His mercy in our journey of faith.

What is the central message of the promise in the First Reading for Wednesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2 (Jeremiah 31:1-7)?

The promise in Jeremiah 31:1-7 centers on God’s commitment to restoring His people. Despite their exile and challenges, God assures the people of Israel that He will regather them, be their God, and bring them back to their land. This passage highlights God’s faithfulness and His desire to bring prosperity and joy to His people.

How does the Responsorial Psalm for Wednesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2 (Jeremiah 31) emphasize God’s care and redemption?

The Responsorial Psalm echoes the themes of God’s care and redemption seen in the First Reading. The imagery of God as a shepherd protecting His flock illustrates His nurturing and safeguarding nature. The scattered Israelites will be gathered and redeemed, experiencing a transformation of sorrow into joy as they receive blessings from the Lord.

How can the messages of the readings for Wednesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2 resonate in our lives today?

The readings emphasize God’s promises, care, and the transformative power of faith. Jeremiah’s message of restoration reminds us that God’s faithfulness endures through trials. The imagery of God as a shepherd in the Psalm highlights His guiding and protective presence. The Gospel story encourages us to approach God with bold and persistent faith, knowing that He responds to sincere and unwavering petitions. These readings inspire us to trust in God’s promises, seek His care, and strengthen our faith through prayer and trust.

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