Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 20, 2019 – Year C
Readings: Ex 17:8-13 / Ps 121 / 2 Tm 3:14-4:2 / Lk 18:1-8
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor
History tells us that many famous people were slow starters, but they persevered. They didn’t give up. Winston Churchill, for instance, seemed so dull as a youth that his father thought he might not be capable of earning a living in England. G. K. Chesterton, one of my favorite writers, could not read until he was eight, and one of his teachers told him, “If we could open your head, we should not find any brain but a lump of white fat.” Albert Einstein performed so badly in all his high school courses, except mathematics, that a teacher asked him to drop out. Paul McCartney of the Beatles, as a young student applied to join the choir of Liverpool Cathedral, but he was turned down. He was told that he wasn’t a good singer and was not qualified. And Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll, was rejected by the glee club in his school. The teacher told him that his voice would ruin the sound of their choir.
All these famous people who excelled in their fields have one thing in common. They all persevered; they didn’t give up in spite of the discouragement coming from all sides. And of course, they were lucky to have friends and members of their families who were there to encourage them to move on, to go on, and to keep trying.
In today’s gospel, the Lord Jesus, in the parable of the persistent widow, is telling us that persistence in prayer and in life is a quality that we should all have as God’s children. But human as we are, we all know that we can’t do it on our own. We need God’s help, and we need the support and assistance of our families and friends.
In the first reading, which is taken from the Book of Exodus, during the battle between the Israelites and the Amalekites, we heard that as long as Moses kept his hands raised up in prayer, Israel had the better of the fight. When he let his hands rest, the Amalekites had the better of the fight. As the scripture related to us, Moses’ hands eventually grew tired, so his brother Aaron and his friend Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other, so his hands remained steady until sunset. And at the end of the day, the Israelites won the battle.
We are all aware that in this world, there is a constant battle between good and evil. But just like Moses, we who are the chosen people lift our minds and hearts in prayer every single day, not only for ourselves, but for the members of the Mystical Body of Christ and the members of God’s family who need our support the most. And this is what Moses did – we call it the Power of Intercession, and we also ask the heavenly angels and saints to pray for us and to pray with us. We believe that with the help of our all-powerful and ever-living God, we will win the battle of everyday life.