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This Sunday we celebrate the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time. In our Gospel this Sunday we read the parable of the unjust judge. This parable is unique to Luke. It is introduced with the words: “Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always.” He then tells the story of a widow who continually comes to an unjust judge demanding her rights. Eventually the judge said to himeself: “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.”
Our first reading this Sunday is taken from the Book of Exodus. It tells the story of a battle between the forces of Amalek and those of Israel. During the battle: “As long as Moses kept his hands raised up, Israel had the better of the fight, but when he let his hands rest, Amalek had the better of the fight.” So “Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other, so this hands remained steady till sunset.”
The Gospel and the first reading together remind us of two essential elements of prayer: 1. persistence; and 2. the support of others. At times it is easy to become discouraged in prayer. The support of others, though, can help us persevere in prayer. We persevere in prayer, though, not to change God’s mind, but to discern how God might be responding to our prayer.
In our second reading this Sunday we continue to read from the second Letter of St. Paul to Timothy. In it Paul urges Timothy to “proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching.”
Questions for Reflection/Discussion:
1. Has there been a time when you have been discouraged in prayer? What helped you to persist?
2. When have others been helpful to you in your spiritual life?
3. Are you persistent in prayer whether it is convenient or inconvenient?