Saturday, October 15, 2016
29th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
16 October 2016
29th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Ex 17:8 – 13 / 2 Tm 3:14 – 4:2 / Lk 18:1 - 8
1st Reading: Ex 17: 8 – 13
When the Israelites were at Rephidim, the Amalekites came and attacked them. So Moses said to Joshua, "Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites in the morning. As for me, I will stand with God's staff in my hand at the top of the hill."
Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had directed, while Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. It happened that when Moses raised his hands, the Israelites would win but when he lowered them, the Amalekites would have the advantage.
As Moses' arms grew weary they placed a stone for him to sit on while Aaron and Hur on either side held up his arms which remained steadily raise until sunset. For his part Joshua mowed down Amalek and his people with the sword.
From the 2nd Reading: 2 Tm 3:14 - 4:2
As for you, continue with what you have learned and what has been entrusted to you, knowing from whom you received it. Besides, you have known the Scriptures from childhood; they will give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, refuting error, for correcting and training in Christian life. Through Scripture the man of God is made expert and thoroughly equipped for every good work.
In the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by the hope I have of his coming and his kingdom, I urge you to preach the Word, in season and out of season, reproving, rebuking or advising, always with patience and providing instruction.
Gospel Reading: Lk 18:1 – 8.
Jesus told them a parable to show them that they should pray continually and not to lose heart. He said, "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor people. In the same town was a widow who kept coming to him saying, 'Defend my rights against my opponent.' For a time he refused, but finally he thought, 'Even though I neither fear God nor care about people, this widow bothers me so much I will see that she gets justice; then she will stop coming and wearing me out.' "
And Jesus explained, "Listen to what the evil judge says. Will God not do justice for his chosen ones who cry to him day and night even if he delays in answering them? I tell you, he will speedily do them justice. Yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"
The Gospel parable about prayer and the unjust judge has a simple lesson: that one must always pray and never lose heart. It asks us to persevere, to continue, to persist and to endure in our prayer. Is this not the most usual response we can give about prayer, especially seemingly unanswered prayer? In the face of trials and difficulties, is not to persevere our usual way of proceeding? If the lesson is so simple (we could almost say so natural), why do we often forget to follow it?
The Lord asks us to pray and never to lose heart. He asks us to be changed by prayer. Our persevering is not the product of our prayer and is also not the pre-disposition for our prayer. Our persevering becomes our prayer, our persistent begging that God may stay with us and God may continue to make us feel his persevering presence and love ultimately our perseverance in prayer changes us changing our sensitivity in his persevering presence.
Often people pray as a wish-granting mechanism and this is probably why a number lose heart. It is true that not all (most?) of our prayers are answered in the way we wish them to be answered. Maybe many even believe that their prayers will never be answered. And so many lose heart because of these unanswered prayers.
What does Jesus mean when he tells us to persevere in prayer?
Jesus might have meant that we stay with him, that we journey with him, that we remain with him whatever happens. He asks us to let him enter and to let him linger in our lives. We persevere in prayer because we cannot do otherwise. We know that we are limited and lacking, fallen, fallible and even helpless. But we persevere because the Lord promised that he will be with us, that he will stay with us, and that he will support us.
He did not promise to answer our prayers the way we want them answered; he did not even promise to answer our prayers. The parable today helps understand how God answers our prayers. He assures us that he is with us trough our life journey and that we must never be afraid. And so our prayer changes.
It changes from asking Jesus to stay to letting Jesus stay, from asking Jesus to give to letting him freely give, from asking Jesus to heal to letting Jesus heal. At the end our prayers are not so much about our asking God for things but our permitting God to change us.
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:
Alicia de Jesus
Fulgencio & Camilla Yu Contreras
IN MEMORIAM (+)
Cristina M. Uytengsu
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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