Oct 20 2019 Reflection
Sunday 20 October 2019
First Reading: EX 17:8-13
Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
PS 121:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8
Second Reading: 2 TM 3:14-4:2
Gospel Reading: LK 18:1-8
Today’s Note: Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
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 earth?”
As long as Moses kept his hands raised up, Israel had the better of the fight. (Exodus 17:11)
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a direct way to know that your prayers are being heard? Moses had it: hands up, the Israelites win the battle. Hands down, they lose. It was as simple as that. But Moses couldn’t persevere on his own. He needed help to hold his hands high.
This story tells us that we all need support at times. It can be very tiring to keep praying. It takes a lot out of us. That’s why we can all appreciate the image of Aaron and Hur holding up Moses’ hands as he prayed for the Israelites’ victory in battle. His friends stood by him and helped him do what he couldn’t do on his own.
The truth is, each one of us needs our brothers and sisters in Christ to hold us up. They help us persevere. You can probably recall times when you’ve reached out to a friend and asked him to pray with you for something important. His support meant a lot to you.
When you don’t see an immediate answer to your prayers, your friends, like Moses’ friends, can help you perceive the field of battle more clearly and draw your attention to the ways God is already working. They might remind you of specific times that God has answered your prayers—or theirs—in the past. And when you feel completely in the dark, they can stand with you and pray with you as you do your best to keep moving forward. You can do the same for them too.
So don’t go it alone! Maybe you already have someone who can stand with you in prayer, a friend who will join her voice to yours as you intercede. But if not, ask the Lord for someone to partner with you. He loves to send people who will be there to hold you up.
“Thank you, Lord, for the gift of friendships in the body of Christ.”