Friday, October 15, 2010

Oct 17 29th Sunday Ordinary Time Year C

Oct 17 29th Sunday Ordinary Time Year C
Readings: Ex 17:8-13; 2 Tim 3:14-4:2; Lk 18: 1-8

Last Sunday, the readings led us to discover the transforming power of prayer that is not only capable of uprooting the worst human sickness, but that leads one to the source of being cured and totally healed. This Sunday, the readings focus on another aspect of prayer – the power of persistent prayer. Such persistence is a determination to continue in our prayer particularly the highest prayer of thanksgiving – the Eucharist, every Sunday and even every day. Making the Eucharist the centre of our lives as Catholics is the best way of persisting in prayer. Being at Mass Sunday after Sunday or even daily can be compared with Moses keeping his hands upraised - a gesture of prayer, in order to assure the Lord’s continuous protection and help as we hear in the First Reading. “As long as Moses kept his arms raised, Israel had the advantage” in battle against one of the fiercest fighters Israel ever had. No nation on earth could ever defeat them. But with Moses’ hands raised in prayer to the God of Israel, with Aaron and Hur holding Moses’ hands up high in the ancient posture of prayer, with the forces of God on the side of Israel, not only was Amalek defeated, this fierce nation was totally destroyed. The continuous assistance by the Lord gave Israel courage and confidence, a note woven into the responsorial psalm. “Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth”. Paul’s second letter to Timothy also sees the apostolic ministry in terms of persistence. “Be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient...through all patience and teaching.”

In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells “his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.” Jesus is very aware that his disciples and us tend to give up too soon, and therefore tells them the parable of a widow who kept going to a judge until he finally accepted to intervene for her. We are not told what her case involved, but because of her persistence, she got what she wanted. The point of the parable is clear: There is nothing impossible with God. Just as there were no enemies too strong for the forces of Israel with God on their side, so too when God fights with us against the forces of evil; the forces that try corrupt God’s people with sin. We must always persist in our prayer because we believe that God will grant our request, whether we pray for others or for change in our own lives. Just as Israel had fierce battles with Amalek, we too have our own Amalek to fight – our vices and weakneses. Whether we fight our sinful habits: explosive temper, anger or whatever vice like alcoholism or drug addiction, don’t ever give up. With the persistent power of prayer, the fiercest enemy will fall, just like Amalek, and our ardent prayers of faith answered. Prayer is always an invitation to remain patient and humble, and if we do, God in his time will listen to our prayer and grant us our favour. Jesus assures us in the rhetorical question, "will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call on Him day and night?” Let me sum up in a few points. 1) The power of persistent prayer is exemplified best by going to Mass Sunday after Sunday or even daily and in all humility believing that in the end, with God on your side, you will win the battle. 2) The readings remind us of our own fierce battles with our own Amalek. We must never to give up, because with the persistent power of prayer, even the fiercest enemy – the devil will fall. 3) Persistence in prayer helps us to make prayer a way of life, and not just something we do. 4) “If God is for us, who can be against us? (Rom 8:31
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©2010 John S. Mbinda
Homily and Music

2 comments:

Mrs. Malani Baker said...

Thank-you , Father for this excellent homily. It was very interesting and really reminded me that prayer should be a HABIT out of love - Love for God the Father who has given us so much.

Msgr. John S. Mbinda said...

Thank you Malani for your kind and encouraging comment.
Fr. John