TWENTY-NINTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

October 20, 2019

Exodus 17:8-13

 

Then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some men for us and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed; and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands grew weary; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; so his hands were steady until the sun set. And Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the sword.

 

 

Psalm 121:1-8

 

I lift up my eyes to the hills—
    from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;
    he who keeps you will not slumber.
He who keeps Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil;
    he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
    your going out and your coming in
    from this time on and forevermore.

 

 

2 Timothy 3:14-4:2

 

Beloved:

Remain faithful to what you have learned and believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you: proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching.

 

 

Luke 18:1-8

 

Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.’” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

 (NRSVCE)

Meditation

 

In the gospel parable, we are counseled to pray always and to be like the widow who was persistent in faith. The judge had power to grant her justice, and even though he had no fear of God or respect for her, he gave her what she wanted simply because she kept asking. The judge didn’t care that her continually coming to him was an expression of faith. He merely wanted to get rid of her.

 

Unlike the unjust judge, the Lord responds to faith and to his own beloved people who call to him. So why does the Lord end on the question, “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

 

What causes us to lose faith? We can lose faith when we don’t pray. We can lose heart or become discouraged when we have to wait for what we pray for. We can become overwhelmed by our burdens or our fears or by strong emotions like anger.

 

One of the great gifts of the Holy Spirit is self-control. But when we are frightened or angry, our self-control is tested and we can lose it. Like a little child who needs to learn to control his tantrums, we need to learn to evaluate the emotions that overwhelm our peace and our prayerfulness. At what times do I abandon faith, panic, or give up my peace? Is it when people fail me? Is it when I fail? Is it when circumstances are contrary to my goals?

 

When we are angry or afraid, the answer is to persevere in faith. Are you struggling with fear or anger? Turn to the Lord in prayer and let Him persevere in wearing you down until you find faith in Him.

 

 

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