Year C – Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time – October 20, 2013 – Gospel Reflection

Exodus 17:8-13; Psalm 121:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 (R/. cf. 2); 2 Timothy 3:14 – 4:2; Hebrews 4:12; Luke 18:1-8

“Persistence pays off,” proclaims today’s parable, one Jesus tells with some humor.  Even though widows were among the most powerless people in the ancient world, here we have a widow who makes a judge cower, a judge described as having no fear of God or anyone else.  The judge himself says that the only reason he finally decides in the widow’s favor is that he fears she might come and haul off and strike him.  The story would have gotten a laugh in Luke’s community, not only for its incongruity, but possibly because some of his listeners would be able to think of someone in their own family like this widow.  Maybe you can as well?

Jesus encourages us to be like this widow and persevere in our prayer, not to give up calling on God.  We can help one another here, just as Aaron and Hur helped Moses to keep praying by holding up his arms.  When we come to mass, we help one another to persist in prayer by praying together in word and song.  By our very presence we “hold up the arms” of others, as they do for us.

Who in your life needs your support to keep praying?

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