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Thursday 18 July |
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When Jesus needs a breather

Jezus Chrystus podczas chrztu z rąk Jana Chrzciciela

Peter Heidelberg | Shutterstock

Fr. Luigi Maria Epicoco - published on 02/09/23

How often we feel that God does not listen to our prayers!

Today’s readings can be found here. Read Fr. Epicoco’s brief reflections on the daily Mass readings, Monday through Saturday, here. For Sunday Mass reading commentary from Fr. Rytel-Andrianik, see here.

Mark’s opening remark in today’s Gospel stresses a very human trait of Jesus: the need to take a rest. “From there he set out and went away to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there. Yet he could not escape notice.” 

Knowing that Jesus also needed to take a breather is comforting. We also know that, most of the time, he could barely rest. People always find a way to find him. That’s the case of the Syro-Phoenician woman ­–a foreigner, alien to the tradition of Israel. 

At first, it seems that Jesus refuses to help her. How often we feel that God does not listen to our prayers! But she beautifully shows us what we need to do when we think that is the case: never go away! She insists, and does not give up on her request. She represents everything that we go through when we care about something and hand it over to the Lord. 

Perhaps because of our lack of faith (or because of our own sins), we feel like we are not in a position to ask anything from Jesus. But a believer is one whose trust in Him is greater than any doubt –one who knows faith is not a matter of merit. “’Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.’ Then he said to her, ‘For saying that, you may go—the demon has left your daughter.’ So she went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.”


Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

DiscipleshipGospelLiturgyMassPrayerSpiritual Life
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