Exploring the Sunday Gospel - Eleventh Sunday after Trinity


Today is the Eleventh Sunday after Trinity. Today’s reading from Matthew’s Gospel tells
how Jesus accepted the Gentile woman. Jesus lived in a society in which the sense of being
God’s chosen people built a strong barrier between the Jewish people and the rest of the
world, the Gentile nations. Jesus’ own initial ministry was to the Jewish people, the lost
sheep of the house of Israel. He has already fed five thousand Jews and twelve baskets full of
crumbs were left over. The encounter with the Canaanite woman and with her faith shows
that the barrier can be dissolved and the good news of the Kingdom extended to Gentiles as
well as to Jews.
For those of you who wanted to do some thinking and preparation for today’s service during
the preceding week, I invited reflection on the image of removing barriers. In today’s picture
from their book, Signs and Symbols, Aled and Sian have been searching for the ancient castle,
but now they find that the gate is firmly locked and the gardener does not hold the key.
Lord Jesus Christ,
you took away the barriers
between Jews and Gentiles.
Remove the barriers which divide our world,
that all people may live to praise your name;
now and for ever.

Next Sunday is the Twelfth Sunday after Trinity. The reading from Matthew’s Gospel tells of
Peter’s confession of faith at Caesarea Philippi. The image to help prepare for this theme is
rock. You can find out more about that theme by looking at the Educational Resources and
the Preparation Resources.

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