My father’s version of “to make a long story short” was more expressive. He would just say, “short stories” and we knew to summarize. I feel that today’s readings call for the same. The first reading has Isaiah telling the people God’s vision of a world where foreigners are welcomed making “God’s house a house of prayer for all peoples.” In the second text, Paul speaks the same message to the Gentiles. In the gospel, Jesus was accosted by the Canaanite woman who challenged his statement that he had been sent only to “the lost children of Israel.” She kept at him when he told her it wasn’t right to “take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs” with the line, “Even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the master’s table” so, in the end, Jesus was converted to the fact that everyone belongs to God. It is faith that saves us.
That summary about who belongs is expressed most clearly for me this morning in Ps. 67: 5-7 which proclaims: Let every creature, every person, then, be an instrument of praise, and earth itself abound with a fullness yet unknown, as you alone become “our God” for everyone. Your blessings fill us full, and cover us and earth with awe from edge to edge.
Everyone. Everything. No exceptions. Amen to that!