29th Sunday Reflection

29th Sunday in ordinary time year C

First reading: Exodus 17: 8-13 Psalm 121 Second reading: 2Timothy 3:14-4:2 Gospel: Luke: 18: 1-8

Brethren peace be with you!!! Today is the 29th Sunday in ordinary time year C. The liturgical readings of this Sunday are inviting us to reflect on theme: Our victory comes from God. Thus the first reading taking from the book of Exodus, we hear how the Amalekites fought with the Israelites at Rephidim (the name Rephidim means rests or stays; it located about 25 miles from Mount Sinai). In order to win this war, Moses the leader of group asked Joshua to organise the troops while himself and Aaron and Hur went to the mountain of Lord (probably mount Sinai) to support those in the battle through pray. The battle was tough but the Israelites were able to defeat the Amalekites. God gives victory to his people in a difficult time. Going through the book of Exodus in particular chapter 17, the psalmist noticed how God helped his people to win the war against the Amalekites. Out of joy, he sang “our help comes the Lord, who made the heaven and the earth”. With confidence, may we sing again this psalm with joy and trust? The widow in the gospel used psalm 121 as a reference to her faith because that she never gave up asking the unjust judge to render her a justice. Based on the faith of this widow, we can deduce a theme from the gospel and this theme is perseverance or persistence without losing hope. The unjust judge did not help this widow because he wanted to but he did so because this widow was disturbing him much. Dear friends, God always vindicates those who persevere during difficult situations. He always gives victory as reward to those who keep hoping in him. Perseverance in prayer starts at the early stage of faith and this needs to be nurtured throughout the Christian life. It’s because of this Saint Paul encouraged Timothy to continue firmly in what he has learned and received in regard to his faith. Those who keeps their faith shall experience the love of God which manifests itself through victory. Reflecting on the readings of today in concomitance with the theme of this Sunday “our victory comes from God”, I would like to emphasis on three take away points: (1) God fights for us (2) persistence in prayer and (3) commitment to the faith. God fights for us: At the beginning of the first reading we are told that “In those days, Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim”. The Amalekites planned for this war and were sure that they will win without any difficulty. They thought that they were going to fight with a weak nation wandering in the wildness. However, they forgot that the Living and Almighty God was on the side of Israel. Dear friends, we might have weapon to defend ourselves against enemies, we might not be eloquent like the demagogues sophists during the time Socrates but we have a God whose name is “YHWH” “Yahweh”, he fights on our behalf. All that he needs from us is to trust in him. Persistence in prayer: The opening verse of this Gospel caught our attention “And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray not lose heart” (RSV). Judges in the Jewish culture and in the Greco-Roman world were powerful and above the laws. They rendered judgment when they wanted on their own time without any pressure. But the persistence of this widow made the unjust judge to render her justice on due time. Dear through perseverance and persistency of prayer, God will answer our prayers. In order to do so, we must know what is prayer. The simple definition we should know about is a dialogue between us and God. So if prayer is a dialogue, a discussion with God, why do we get tired? Commitment to the faith: Inasmuch as saint Paul encouraged Timothy to keep firm in his faith, he exhorted him as well to be committed to his faith through: preaching the Word, being effective in season and out of season, conviction to the faith and so on. Brethren, how many of us are committed in reading and meditating upon the Word of God? Faith comes from the Word of God, if we do not own the Word of God and applies it into our daily lives it means that we are living without faith. To conclude this reflection, I would like us to keep in mind the theme of this Sunday “our victory comes from God. Dear friends, God gives victory to those who call upon him during trial moments like the Israelites at Rephidim, to the people like the widow in the Gospel who persevere in her request to the unjust judge and those who keep their faith through commitment. May God be on our side and fight for us whenever we face difficulties. Peace be with you!!! Fr Roger Agre, Svd

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