Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Sunday Word

Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Ex 17:8-13
2 Tm 3:14-4:
Lk 18:1-8

Prepare to hear the Word this coming Sunday! Ponder, pray and be persistent in your preparation.

In this Sunday's readings, Jesus tells the story of a widow who refuses to give up. She approaches a judge again and again, asking him to grant her justice against her opponent. The judge refuses at first but finally decides to give her what she wants, since he fears that she will wear him out with her persistence. In the same manner, like the judge, God will "grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night," and He encourages his followers to be like the widow, praying persistently and faithfully.

We can gather two lessons from this Sunday parable:

1. Persistent prayer is the way to be. Jesus does not want us to be casual about prayer, but serious, intentional, determined and disciplined. While it is doubtful that Jesus wants us to pester God, he most certainly wants us to be diligent in our lifting of requests to the Lord. It is in our prayers that we grow closer to the One who is the source of every good and perfect gift.

2. Persistent prayer is faith-inspired prayer. Those who pray persistently to God are people who have faith that God will answer them. They trust that the Lord will help them quickly, granting them justice and mercy, fullness of life and everlasting salvation.

Persistent prayer is not a sign of the "galloping greedy gimmies"; it is a sign of our desire for God's presence, God's power and God's peace. And if we act like difficult children in this behavior, we are in good company. The Lord we worship is nothing less than a persistent God: eternal, everlasting, the Rock of Ages, a Mighty Fortress, the source of steadfast love.

The challenge is to keep a focus on God and the abundant life he offers, and not fall victim to the galloping greedy gimmies.