GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY – 16TH OCTOBER 2016
GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY (based on Catholic Liturgical Readings)
DATE: 16TH OCTOBER 2016
29TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
1ST READING: Exodus 17:8-13
PSALM: Psalm 121:1-8
2ND READING: 2Timothy 3:14 – 4:2
GOSPEL: Luke 18:1-8
THEME: KEEP PRAYING
Perseverance in prayer may be likened to digging a well. Diggers would normally commence their task with a basic conviction that there is water in the ground. Although their physical eyes may not see any water, the vegetation around them serves as an indicator that with perseverance they would “discover” water. Rightly so, their conviction and perseverance in digging, with the passage of time, is rewarded with water. In the same way, look around you; listen to the testimonies of answered-prayers and know that there is “water” available for those who perseveringly dig in prayer.
With the aid of the “Parable of the widow and the judge”, Jesus invites us in today’s Gospel text to keep praying until our hope becomes a reality. Widows, in ancient Israel, were considered among the class of the powerless and vulnerable in society and they would normally receive support from their fellow Israelites (cf. Deut. 26:12). Therefore, in the parable, we have the image of a powerless person (a widow) seeking the just intervention of a powerful person (a judge).
With this parable, Jesus explains that if an unjust judge would vindicate a persevering widow, then God would certainly come to the aid of those who express their faith in him through persistent prayer. He tells his disciples, “Will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them…” (Lk. 18: 7-8).
The ability of God to answer prayer and the need for one to persevere in prayer is further buttressed in the First Reading. In the fight against the Amalekites, Moses found it expedient to pray as the battle ensued. He went up a hill and lifted up his hands in prayer. When his arms got tired, he solicited the help of Aaron and Hur. He kept praying until victory came the way of Israel.
There are moments in life when we all come face to face with an “Amalekite situation”. This is the kind of situation, where like the widow in our Gospel text, we find ourselves powerless. However, as we begin to pray, we are clothed with power from on high.
Jesus, in our Gospel text, asks, “…When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Lk. 18:8). Faith inspires prayer and prayer deepens faith and when faith has stood the test of time, that which one hopes for becomes a reality.
You may be going through stressful and trying times at this point in time in your life. Perhaps, all that you have is little faith that is dying quickly on account of the challenges that have come your way. Consider fanning this little faith into flames with the power of prayer. As your faith in God deepens, you would come to discover that there is nothing that God cannot do.
Courage, there is a way out of every situation that you have found yourself in. Keep on digging in prayer; you will soon discover ‘water’. “And this is the confidence we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1Jn 5:14).
Prayer: Eternal Father, in the name of your Son Jesus, I approach your throne of grace trusting in your ability to make possible what appears to be impossible. I bring before you every “Amalekite situation” that has engulfed me. Relying on your divine power, I declare victory; I declare that I shall not be defeated and when you have brought me out unscathed, I will give you the glory. Amen
Andrews Obeng, svd
DIVINE WORD MISSIONARIES
BIBLICAL PASTORAL MINISTRY
“May the darkness of sin and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the Word and the Spirit of grace. And may the heart of Jesus live in the hearts of all people” (St. Arnold Janssen).