HOMILY FOR THE 29TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR C (7)







HOMILY FOR THE 29TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR C

THEME: WHATEVER HAPPENS, NEVER STOP PRAYING…

BY: Fr. Arthur Ntembula

HOMILY FOR SUNDAY OCTOBER 16 2022

 

(Exodus 17:8-13, 2 Timothy 3:14-4:2, Luke 18:1-8)
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The Lord will always fight for those who persist in prayer. He will fight their battles because they trust in him. He will raise extraordinary strength in them to be able to walk through terrible things without giving up. In the end, they will walk out with broad smiles on their faces because they believe with utter conviction that what lies in them is greater and bigger than what lies out there. They will never despair for the Lord shall be their shield and fortress. Therefore, regardless of what happens, we should never forget to pray and to do it persistently.

In the gospel, Jesus gives us a parable of a widow who keeps coming to the judge, crying for justice. He refuses for a while but due to her persistence, he grants her request. Jesus further says, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will vindicate them speedily.” In the first reading, Amalek comes to fight the Israelites. Moses goes to the top of the hill to intercede for his people, with the rod of God in his hand. Whenever Moses holds up his hands, the Israelites prevail in the battle. Whenever he lowers them, Amalek prevails. As he grows tired of holding his hands up, Aaron and Hur come to support him until the battle is won. What we see in this is persistence before the presence of God and confidence in God’s intervention. It is a fierce battle, and Israelites may not triumph unless they seek God’s help. Moses grows tired but he has to hang on, on the hilltop, for the battle to be won.

There is no situation that is permanent in our lives, no matter how painful or how difficult. We should not allow our faith to go down because of what we go through. In every situation, God’s help is assured but we have to seek it in prayer. Sometimes we underestimate the power of prayer, maybe because we seek immediate answers which we don’t usually get when we pray. The woman that Jesus talks about in the gospel teaches us patience and persistence. It is not always easy, but we have to continue hanging on like Moses on the mountain until the battle is won. Those who run to God in sincerity of heart never go back empty-handed. God vindicates them. He grants them justice. They triumph because God fights their battles. Without praying persistently, we are defeated because we have no more strength to carry on.

We are insufficient without God. We should never, at any point in our life, believe that we are self-sufficient and that we can sort out situations our own way. This is spiritual pride. In docility, we should always surrender before God and allow him to be in control of our situations. We can permanently be in anguish unless we involve God. And when we talk about persistence in prayer, we are talking about praying unceasingly. At an appointed time God will begin to turn things our way. We shall see his mighty hand at work. The battles we thought we could never fight will become like a speck between our fingers that we will be able to toss out and smile our way through life. Therefore, let us be patient and consistent as we pray.

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