Sunday 16 October 2022 – THE BATTLE

29th Sunday of the Ordinary Time

1st Reading: Exodus 17:8–13

In those days, Amalek came and waged war against Israel.  Moses, therefore, said to Joshua, “Pick out certain men, and tomorrow go out and engage Amalek in battle. I will be standing on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” So Joshua did as Moses told him: he engaged Amalek in battle after Moses had climbed to the top of the hill with Aaron and Hur.  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.  Moses’ hands, however, grew tired; so they put a rock in place for him to sit on.  Meanwhile Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other, so that his hands remained steady till sunset.  And Joshua mowed down Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

2nd Reading: 2 Timothy 3:14–4:2

Beloved:  Remain faithful to what you have learned and believed, because you know from whom you learned it, and that from infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work.  I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingly power: proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching.

Gospel: Luke 18:1–8

Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.  He said, “There was a judge in a certain town who neither feared God nor respected any human being.  And a widow in that town used to come to him and say, ‘Render a just decision for me against my adversary.’  For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought, ‘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.” The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says.  Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night?  Will he be slow to answer them?  I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily.  But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

THE BATTLE: Anybody who goes to the battle goes with a desire to win and not loose. The same thing applies to a Christian. Christians want to conquer sin so that they may find their way to be united with their Lord in eternal life. For Christians, to defeat sin, they need a good weapon. There is no better weapon to fight sin than prayer. Prayer brings a person to the presence of God. Once a person is in the presence of God and remains there, then he/she is sure of defeating sin. For a person to win the battle against sin, he/she must be persistent in prayer since without persistence he will lose. In the battle against the Amalekites, the Israelites showed what persistent in prayer can do. As long as Moses had his hands raised up in prayer, the Israelites were winning the battle. When Moses stopped praying the Israelites were losing the battle. So finally, Moses persisted in prayer and the Israelites won the battle (Ex 17:11-13). Similarly, a widow who was seeking for justice never got tired of seeking and finally she was granted justice (Luke 18:2-5). The best weapon to go with in the battle against sin is nothing but persistent in prayer.

Prayer: Lord, may all your people win the battle against sin by being in your presence.

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NEVER GIVE UP: A believer in the living God is confident of his closeness. Then it is to persist in prayer. Prayer makes one to be in the presence of God. It helps the person to seek and do what is pleasing in the sight of God. Prayer cements one’s relationship with the Creator.  When the person is not persistent in prayer, it is easy to deny God’s power. It is the rejection of faith in the compassionate God. A person gives up the faith when he stops praying. It is simple faith to acknowledge that all we have come from God. If we cut off the link we have with God who is our Creator what will, then, sustain us? Giving up prayer is giving up our relationship with God our Creator and Sustainer. It is giving up God.