for Sunday, October 20, 2013
Pray, pray, pray! That is the message of the readings today. It seems an
easy message for each of us to understand. On the other hand, we also know
how easy it is not to pray, to forget God, especially when things are going
relatively well. Far too often we Christians only turn to God when we are
in trouble. This is the same story that we find throughout the Jewish
Scriptures, our Old Testament. When things go well, people abandon God.
When things fall apart or when there are disasters, people turn to God once
The reading from the Book of Exodus also teaches us about supporting one
another in prayer. Prayer does not need to be something that is just a
solitary experience. We are called to live in community, in one way or
another. Even a Christian hermit must have a relationship with a Christian
community. The question for the hermit is always this: whose feet do you
This reading from the Book of Exodus shows us how we support one another in
prayer. We do this by holding up the hands of one another. What a
wonderful symbol expressing how to help one another. Our hands are so
often how we earn our living, whether it be by manual labor or some type of
desk job. We get tired and others have to support us. Even parents get
tired of caring for their children and of earning a living in order to
support their families. Who is holding up their hands?
The Gospel is even more delightful today. We can just imagine the widow
coming to him and insisting on justice. The judge changes his ways finally
because he thinks that she may come and hit him! We should all be laughing
at this image, while at the same time admiring the courage of this widow
who does not give up but pursues her own cause relentlessly. How
relentless are we in prayer? When we donít get what we want or even what
we need, do we keep on insisting with our God?
We can end our reflections by listening to the Second Letter to Timothy
once more, especially the final part of our second reading today: proclaim
the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince,
reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching.
This is the same teaching of the other two readings: persistence whether
it is convenient or inconvenient! We must continue to learn to pray all of
our lives. We must continue to learn how to persevere and be persistent
all of our lives. Let us never stop asking God for what we want and what
we need. Let us tire Him out with our persistence! If we are not
persistent, then it is clear that we donít really want or need whatever it
was for which we were praying.
My sisters and brothers, God wants us to ask Him for all that we truly need
in our lives. May we respond to Him.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Exodus 17.8-13
Second Reading: 2 Timothy 3.14 - 4.2
Gospel: Luke 18.1-8
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: