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Faith and Persistence - Weekday Homily Video

Faith and Persistence - Weekday Homily Video

Why pray?  |  Holy lives of inspiration

Last night, Fr. Willy, Fr. Leo, and I went to St. Mary’s in Mansfield for a Knights of Columbus-sponsored BBQ and family movie night. The adults watched the film, “Pray,” the life story of Venerable Patrick Peyton. Although we’ve seen the film several times, we all came away with new insights about Father Peyton’s ministry to promote family prayer, especially the Rosary.



I was struck by the persistence of Father Peyton in his mission to families around the world, and, because I had read today’s gospel earlier, I made the connection between Father Peyton and the woman who persisted in her plea for Jesus to heal her daughter.

Like Father Peyton, who faced his own series of initial rejections or setbacks, the Canaanite woman was undaunted by Jesus and his disciples’ initial dismissal of her request. Of course, we know that Jesus would use this exchange not only to heal her daughter but to teach others about persistence in faith and the healing power of God over evil.


Fear Overcomes Faith


When you contrast this with the reading from the Book of Numbers you see how fear, if we let it, can overcome faith in God. Moses sends a group of men to scout out the land of Canaan, the promised land, and when they return, they determine to attempt to avoid God’s plan for their people.

They experienced fear and doubt and chose to not only opt out of God’s plan but also to save face by discouraging their fellow Israelites by playing up the long odds of them being successful in assuming the land. Remember their comparison—men who were veritable giants made us feel like grasshoppers!


Virtues of the Saints


Yesterday, Father Willy preached about how the greatest tragedy in our lives is to not become a saint. The saints all share at least two qualities that we need to have if we want to join them in heaven.

  1. Faith in God
  2. Persistence. The saints never gave up. They might have fallen or gotten knocked down, but they always got up and kept going with God.

The way that we can do that is to pray for the gift of faith: the faith of today’s saint, Edith Stein, the faith of the Canaanite woman, the faith of Father Peyton, and the faith of so many of our family and friends who have gone before us.

Did you notice that the woman’s prayer was “Lord, help me”? That simple prayer said throughout our lives is the one that will make all the difference, all the way to Heaven, even on those days when we feel as small as grasshoppers!

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About Father David Marcham

Reverend David S. Marcham is the Vice Postulator for the Cause of Venerable Patrick Peyton, and Director of the Father Peyton Guild, whose members pray for Father Peyton’s beatification and spread his message of the importance of Family Prayer. Prior to becoming a seminarian, Father David was a physical therapist and clinical instructor, serving hospital inpatients and outpatients throughout the greater Boston area for eleven years. In 1998 he heard the call to priesthood and was ordained in the Archdiocese of Boston in 2005. Father David grew up in Quincy, MA, and has fond memories of playing soccer, tennis and running track. You’re never without a friend when Father David is around, as he welcomes everyone into his circle with a smile on his face!