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August 16, 2020 - 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends in Christ:

What a prayer! I don't know about you, but today's Gospel contains my most common prayer. I pray it more often than the Our Father. It is the simple prayer, "Lord, help me." I say it in the morning as I think about the coming day. I say it going into difficult situations in ministry and as I am entering meetings I expect to be difficult. And I find myself saying it often throughout the course of the day.

Interestingly enough, the prayer was expressed by a non-Jewish woman - a Canaanite. She lived in the sea coast region, just outside of Israel. When Jesus came into that territory, something about him caused her to place her trust in him - and ask for a favor, the healing of her tormented daughter. She got a negative response at first, twice! First when Jesus “did not say a word in answer to her,” and then when Jesus said “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” The disciples even wanted to brush her off, but she did not give up. She kept say