We always talk about the importance of faith in God. We are always reminded by the Scriptures of the need to deepen and strengthen our faith in God. In today’s gospel reading from the gospel of Saint Matthew 15:21-28 , we hear a story of faith as the Canaanite woman stood firm in her belief that Jesus will save her daughter. The actions of this woman clearly emphasizes the characteristics of true faithfulness to God. What are these characteristics?

Prayer - By her constant communication with Jesus even in his silence, the Canaanite woman shows us that prayer is very important and essential in our faith in God. Prayer is our communication with God in which we adore him, praise him, worship him, thank him for all he has done and continues to do in our lives and ask him for our needs. Hence, Prayerfulness which means being devout, inclined or given to praying frequently is essential in our call to be faithful to God.

Patience - The Canaanite woman was very patient in her approach to Jesus especially in his silence and with his response to her. How patient are we in our approach to God as his children? How patient are we in our approach to repentance and true conversion? Patience as we know is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset, so how accepting and tolerant are we towards others and to ourselves in our spiritual lives as Christians.

Perseverance - The Canaanite woman was very persistent and persevering in her plea to Jesus. She never gave up in her request to have her daughter saved from the demon and she received what she wanted or needed from Jesus. How persevering and persistent are we in our prayer and spiritual lives as we journey back to God? How persevering are we in being faithful and true witnesses of Christ?

My dear brothers and sisters, the Canaanite woman in today's gospel reading teaches us the characteristics of true faithfulness to God which are: Prayer, Patience and Perseverance. Her exemplary actions led to these words from Jesus, "O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish." So let us deepen our faith in God and let it be done for us as we wish by being faithful to God through Prayer, Patience and Perseverance. Hence by so doing, we will come closer to God in our spiritual lives and attain the kingdom of heaven after our lives on earth. Amen!