Saturday, October 20, 2007
29th Sunday in Ordinary Time
29th Sunday in Ordinary Time - C
In those days, Amalek came and waged war against Israel. Moses,
therefore, said to Joshua, "Pick out certain men, and tomorrow go out
and engage Amalek in battle. I will be standing on top of the hill
with the staff of God in my hand." So Joshua did as Moses told him: he
engaged Amalek in battle after Moses had climbed to the top of the
hill with Aaron and Hur. As long as Moses kept his hands raised up,
Israel had the better of the fight, but when he let his hands rest,
Amalek had the better of the fight. Moses' hands, however, grew tired;
so they put a rock in place for him to sit on. Meanwhile Aaron and Hur
supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other, so that his
hands remained steady till sunset. And Joshua mowed down Amalek and
his people with the edge of the sword.
TIMOTHY 3:14 - 4:2
Beloved: Remain faithful to what you have learned and believed,
because you know from whom you learned it, and that from infancy you
have known the sacred Scriptures, which are capable of giving you
wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is
inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for
correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs
to God may be competent, equipped for every good work. I charge you in
the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and
the dead, and by his appearing and his kingly power: proclaim the
word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient;
convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching.
Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to
pray always without becoming weary. He said, "There was a judge in a
certain town who neither feared God nor respected any human being. And
a widow in that town used to come to him and say, 'Render a just
decision for me against my adversary.' For a long time the judge was
unwilling, but eventually he thought, 'While it is true that I neither
fear God nor respect any human being, because this widow keeps
bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally
come and strike me.'" The Lord said, "Pay attention to what the
dishonest judge says. Will not God then secure the rights of his
chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to
answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for
them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on
Jesus confronts us with two intriguing characters - a powerful judge
and a powerless widow. Only a single sentence tells us what the judge
was like. He "neither feared God nor cared about people."
And the widow? She fits an Old Testament picture: the widow to whom
justice was so often denied, who was cheated by lawyers appointed to
take care of her estate - one of the outcasts for whom Jesus was
Our widow here has a tough time getting justice from the judge, no
matter how long and how tearfully she pleads. So what does she do? She
makes a nuisance of herself. Finally, the judge has had it; he breaks
down, not because the widow has put the fear of God into him, not
because he now cares for helpless widows.
"All right," he says, "you win. Whatever you want, you've got. Just
leave me alone in peace ... please!"
The lesson of the parable? If sheer persistence can prevail on a
dishonest judge to do justice, how much more will an upright God
listen to the persistent prayer of his own, "His chosen ones, who cry
out to Him day and night!"
On the other hand, you have in apparent contradiction a whole history
of everyday experience. We see a young man of 23 dying of cancer, a
little girl dying of leukemia despite the persistent tears and prayers
of family and friends. The list can go on and on of sorrow-laden
people who prayed to God and were disappointed.
Perhaps what can be most helpful is the experience of Job in the Old
Testament. Here is a man utterly blameless, totally God-fearing.
Suddenly all he has is destroyed: livestock, house, servants, sons and
daughters. A disease gives him constant pain, keeps him sleepless, and
makes him ugly to the eye. He is an outcast to human society. He lives
in a garbage dump. People spit when they see him. His wife's advice?
"Curse God, and die."
Job is terribly confused. Why is this happening to him? He loves God,
wants only to please him. Then why has God turned on him, turned
hostile, oppressive? Close to despair, he curses the day he was born,
begs God to just leave him alone.
In Job's wrestling with God there are two splendid moments. The first
is Job's act of faith, of trust. If Job's sufferings made no sense,
God has his own reasons. And still, though faith dissolves Job's
doubts, it does not diminish his desolation. The sharpest torment of
all is still there: a dark night of the soul. He used to experience
God's presence, now he experiences God's absence.
And the second splendid moment? At last God speaks to Job. He shows
himself to this anguished believer, this rebellious lover, who has
raged against his situation, has demanded that God justifies his ways.
God has gifted you with an incredible power, the power to believe, on
His word, that God has shown His face in Christ, that the same Christ
who died and rose for you is here among us, here within you, hidden
here in what looks like bread and tastes like wine.
God is as real to you as the person sitting next to you. You have a
relationship of love for God so intense that it rivals the love Christ
reached out to you on the cross.
We have much to learn from "the case of the invincible widow."
Whatever your sad experience with prayer, with the prayer of petition,
God still wants you to "hang in there."
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
... for the strength, healing and speedy recovery of:
- Eligia G. Fernando
- Tom Diokno
- Aileen Dimapilis
- Pilar Cabarles
- Conchita Tan
... for the personal intentions of:
- Veronica Yap
- Fred and Nel de Leon
.. for San Juan de Dios Hospital
... for the eternal repose of the souls of
- Dr. Isabel Sim
- John Copengco
Eternal rest grant unto them and may perpetual light shine upon them.
May they and all the dearly departed rest in peace.
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Eloisa L. Ledesma
- Birthday: Marilen G. Gaerlan
- Wedding Anniversary: Dionisio Chua Kang Hay & Soledad Ong Acero
... for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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