October 16 - Twenty Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time : Persistent Widow

October 10th, 2016

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First Reading  Exodus 17:8-13
Joshua and the Israelites defeat Amalek with the help of God and his servant,Moses.


Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 121:1-2,3-4,5-6,7-8
The Lord is the Guardian of Israel.


Second Reading  2 Timothy 3:14—4:2
Paul exhorts Timothy to continue to preach the word Timothy received from histeachers.


Gospel Reading
Luke 18:1-8


The Lord is our guardian, beside us at our righthand, interceding for us in all our spiritual battles. In today’s Psalmwe’re told to lift our eyes to the mountains,  that our help will comefrom Mount Zion and the Temple - the dwelling of the Lord who made heaven andearth. Joshua and the Israelites, in today’s First Reading, are also told tolook to the hilltops. They are to find their help there - through theintercession of Moses - as they defend themselves against their mortal foes,the Amalekites. Notice the image: Aaron and Hur standing on each side of Moses,holding his weary arms so that he can raise the staff of God above his head.Moses is being shown here as a figure of Jesus, who also climbed a hilltop, andon Mount Calvary stretched out His hands between heaven and earth to intercedefor us against the final enemy - sin and death (see 1 Corinthians 15:26). Bythe staff of God, Moses bested Israel’s enemies (see Exodus 7:8-12;8:1-2),parted the Red Sea (see Exodus 14:16) and brought water from the Rock (seeExodus 17:6). The Cross of Jesus is the new staff of God, bringing about a newliberation from sin, bringing forth living waters from the body of Christ, thenew Temple of God (see John 2:19-21; 7:37-39; 19:34; 1 Corinthians 10:4). Likethe Israelites and the widow in today’s Gospel, we face opposition andinjustice - at times from godless and pitiless adversaries. We, too, must liftour eyes to the mountains - to Calvary and the God who will guard us from allevil. We must pray always (persevere in prayer) and not be wearied by ourtrials, Jesus tells us today. As Paul exhorts in today’s Epistle, we need toremain faithful, to turn to the inspired Scriptures - given by God to train usin righteousness. We must persist, so that when the Son of Man comes again inkingly power, He will indeed find faith on earth.