Great readings for Mass today. I'm still amazed at how the readings speak to one another the way they do. And, of course, the challenge in daily prayer is to let those readings not just speak to one another, but to really speak to me!
In the first reading, the people in the desert succomb to what I call "negative cooties." You may call them something else (the AA groups speak of the same phenomenon as "stinking thinking"). I am particularly susceptible to these pessimistic or demoralizing insinuations: "It's not as good as it seems"; "Murphy's Law..."; "what else can go wrong?" You know the routine.
Sister Helena has an unusually strong resistance to this sort of thing, but once in a while she is a carrier, at least for me. And since our rooms are across a very narrow hall from each other, I envision those discouraging thoughts as scurrying across the linoleum into my room like so many roaches. Negative cooties.
It is as if in both readings, God had been saying those words that are emblazoned by the tabernacle in our Pauline chapels: Do not fear; I am with you. In the Invitatory Psalm of the Liturgy of the Hours, God complains, "they do not know my ways." He had offered a message of love that the "princes" of the Twelve Tribes did not seem to notice. The Canaanite, on the other hand (like the lone Caleb in the first reading), responded to that message with a bold faith--the kind of faith that is a response to divine love. And Jesus (against his own human expectations) burst out in delight: "Woman, great is your faith!"
How can my faith delight the Lord today?