(From the Bulletin of Sts. Joachim and Ann Catholic Church, October 16, 2016)
Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Our first reading today shows us why the priest holds his hands up in the air as he prays at Mass. In this Old Testament passage from Exodus, the Amalekites are trying to stop the Israelites on their journey through the desert. At God's command, Moses goes up a mountain and prays with hands raised high. The Israelites prevail over their enemies for a time. After a while, Moses gets tired and lowers his hands. Immediately Amalek and his army seem to prevail. Aaron and Hur get a stone for Moses to sit on and stand on either side, helping keep his hands aloft. Because of their perseverance, the battle is won.
The message for us today is clear: faith and endurance are necessary for success in prayer. We should never stop praying, even if we have to enlist our friends and community to help us persevere!
In the Gospel, Jesus tells His disciples never to lose heart, even if we have to get a bit "pushy" with God. Put yourself in that judge's place. Wouldn't you get annoyed and maybe a little frightened at this obnoxious widow who keeps pestering for a favor? Of course, there's no question that she's in the right and he's in the wrong. When she finally wears him out, he gives in and grants her request.
Again, the message for us is very clear. God is urging us to persist in our request until He gives in! There's only one catch! We have to have a strong faith that He will answer us, and go beyond our timidity. We must go beyond God in persistence.
Fr. Louis Kemayou, Pastor