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SUNDAY HOMILY | Your endurance will save you, by Rev. Fr. Ambrose Anene SDB

*Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C), October 16, 2022

REV. FR. (DR.) AMBROSE ONYEKA ANENE SDB

READINGS: First Reading: Ex 17:8-13
Second Reading: 2 Tim 3:14-4:2.
Gospel Lk 18:1-8.

The first reading is about the first battle the Israelites fought after their deliverance from Egypt. They became victorious, not by their own strength and effort,  but from the power of God mediated through the intercession of Moses.
An important message from this reading is that nobody or group of people can live good life or gain victory over their enemies without the assistance of God. And this can be achieved through prayer.

In the second reading we hear Paul’s counsel to Timothy, “study the Holy Scriptures!” Constant contact with the word of God is the best prayer.

Gospel:
…because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me.”  Luke 18:5

This passage is from the story of the Persistent Widow. We can give her a name, “Mrs. Justice”  We are told that she kept coming to a judge, who cared little about doing the right thing, and persistently begged him for a good judgment.  Finally he gave in so as to get her to leave him alone.

What is the morale behind this parable? Jesus used this story to teach a lesson about the necessity “to pray always without becoming weary” (Luke 18:1). It is a lesson about perseverance, endurance, persistence and patience.
The image of the judge Jesus presented in the story is  one “who neither feared God nor respected any human being” (Luke 18:2).

But Jesus uses this image of an unjust judge to reveal two important virtues namely,  the power of persistence and  the depths of God’s mercy.

First, we learn that this woman never gave up.  So with us, we must never lose hope in prayer.  We must pray always, constantly and persistently.

There has been a debate whether prayer can change God or not.
Some people have said that God controls everything and everybody but prayer controls God. How is it possible?

In those days Hezekiah became terminally ill. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz came and said to him, “This is what the LORD says: ‘Put your affairs in order, for you are about to die; you will not recover.’” (2 Kings 20:1)

Hezekiah was told that he was about to die. This word came from the Lord Himself. Yet, Hezekiah pleaded for his life. The Lord then responded to his prayer and told him that he would live an additional fifteen years. The Bible says,
Does this mean that prayer changes or control God?

Many instances in the scripture we discovered that when people prayed God relented from the punishment he was to give the prayer. This means that prayer can arouse the mercy of God.
We receive receive immeasurable graces from God through prayer which includes changing of the human person spiritually and physically, material and spiritual blessings, healing of body and mind etc.

Prayer does not really change God but rouses his mercy upon us and changes us to align to the plan of God for us from eternity.

Second, we learn that if an uncaring judge will eventually give a good decision, then so much more will the merciful and all-loving God pour forth His good judgment in our lives when we trust Him.  There should be no doubt in our lives that God can do all good things for us if we but let Him.

Persistence helps to build us and enable us develop strong faith and trust in God. God’s time and ways are different from ours. Persistence helps us arrive at God’s time and ways.

Reflect, today, upon how persistent you are in your prayer.  The prayer you must seek to live is primarily a prayer of total trust and abandonment to God.  You do not change God’s mind by begging Him.  Rather, your prayer must be so persistent that it opens you to the will of God and allows His grace to flow in accord with His perfect will.

Lord, I beg of You that Your perfect and holy will be done in my life.  I abandon all to You, dear Lord.  Do with me as You will.  Jesus, I trust in You.

May Almighty God bless us and protect us from all evil through Christ our Lord Amen.

Have a wonderful and blessed Sunday.

REV. FR. DR. AMBROSE ANENE SDB is Parish Priest, Church of the Archangels, Gaduwa Estate, Abuja Archdiocese.

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