Skip to main content

29th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2013

As for this week’s readings... we  continue our theme of prayer.  Last week we focused on prayer of thanksgiving.  This week we focus on petition and intersession… in other words, making requests of God, either for our benefit, or the benefit of others.  There are actually two types of intercessory prayer:  One is praying directly to other souls to intercede on our behalf to God, such as in a prayer to Mary or one of the saints.  The other is us praying on behalf of others, such as what the lector or the priest does at Mass during the “prayers of the faithful”.  In this second case, we are the soul interceding on behalf of someone else.  So as you can see, we can serve both as the intercessor, and the intercessee in this type of prayer.

The Word for the 29th Sunday of Ordinary Time:
        Exodus 17:8-13
        Psalm 121:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8
        2 Timothy 3:14-4:2
        Luke 18:1-8

As for our readings, we open with Exodus.  Moses and the Israelites are pushing into the Southern Canaan where they are experiencing resistance from Amalek.  Amalek is the nation inhabiting this region, and the name suggests a relationship to Esau, Abraham’s other son (though this may just be a literary device).  Moses holds out his hands (in a prayer position) and the battle goes in favor of Israel, but as Moses grows tired, the tide of battle shifts.  With the help of Aaron and Hur, Moses is able to keep his arms up so that Israel wins the day.  There are actually two important points made with regard to prayer in this reading.  First is persistence:  As long a Moses persevered in his prayer, the Lord responded in kind.  Second is help from others.  As Moses began to tire, Aaron and Hur were there to hold up his arms, acting as intercessors in his prayer, and reinforcing the idea that we all need the help of others from time to time.

In our Gospel from Luke, we hear another story of how one’s persistence in prayer can be beneficial.  Continuing from where we left off last week, we get yet again another parable unique to Luke’s Gospel.  Here a widow (part of the underclass) keeps pressing her case with a dishonest judge.  Her perseverance ultimately leads the judge to rule in her favor, if for no other reason than to get her out of his hair.  Jesus’ approach is a little unusual (typical of Luke), but he uses the widow as an example of how we need to be persistent in our prayers to God if we are to be heard.  Is persistence necessary in prayer?  There are some interesting ideas to explore here… not the least of which is “does God even hear us?”

In our second reading, though not specifically related to our theme, continues with our examination of the 2nd Pauline letter to Timothy.  Here again, we see the need for persistence, but in this case, not necessarily in prayer, but in the fulfillment of his ministry.  As Paul continues to exhort his younger charge to persevere, he also tells Timothy that the message of Scripture remains true.  In fact, this passage from Paul sets the precedent for how the Church views scripture and how it has become one of the pillars of our formation.  It is also an example of how we are never left to deal with issues on our own.  Even in his absence, Paul is telling Timothy that he has the scripture to fall back on and to support him in his ministry.  For us today this is fairly easy to understand and accept, but in the first century this was not necessarily the case.  It is also important to note here that the scripture Paul is referring to is fact the Hebrew Bible… the Christian scriptures as we know them didn’t yet exist.  Not only did Paul’s teaching encourage us to keep reading scripture, but his ideas encouraged the young Church to document their own testament.

Catholic Update:

Also in keeping with our theme on prayer, we will spend some time with the Rosary.  A prayer that is uniquely Catholic, the rosary holds a special devotion for many.  It has an interesting history, with roots that go back to some ancient forms of prayer.


Popular posts from this blog

Post-Lent review... How did you do?

Lent is now behind us, yet in our excitement for Easter (and for Lent being over), how often to you take a moment to look back at your Lenten journey to do a post-game review?

As a volunteer leader and business school graduate, the concept of doing a formal "review" after an event or activity is a long held important practice... one that, unfortunately, tends to get overlooked even at the highest levels.  Still, it remains a staple of standard practice, and for good reason... It affords those involved, and the entire organization, a chance to review everything after the fact... what went well, what didn't, and lay the groundwork for next time.  The same is true for looking back at our Lenten journey.  So... how did you do?

I have to be honest, I sometimes fail to practice what I preach.  For as important as a post-lenten review might be, I hadn't thought of the idea until now.  I didn't even really think about it until this morning when I read the following artic…

Nuns and Nones... continued...

On 6-24-2016 I wrote a brief commentary on what we call the "nones"... that is, those people who check the box that says "none" when asked about their religious affiliation.  That commentary was based on an address by my former high school's principal at their 2016 graduation address.  But this topic of the "nones" returned to my attention with this article posted on our daily Angelus News email from the e-magazine Crux:

Notre Dame debuts digital platform to reach young Catholics, ‘nones’
Please take a moment to read it... 

Of particular interest is the increasing number of "nones," those people who claim no religious affiliation. I first heard this term a few years back from one of the speakers at our LA Religious Education Congress. The term itself grew out of a 2012 Pew Research study that showed this rising trend. Working as I do with the RCIA and Adult Faith Formation, this was a known issue, but the Pew study validated what ma…

5th Sunday of Easter

What happens when you have too much of a good thing?  When a business wins that lucrative new contract or expands into a new location?  Or taking that same idea a bit closer to home, what happens when two families merge through marriage, or when a family welcomes a new child?  We consider this kind of growth to be a good thing, but as with all things, these successes also come with their own baggage.  Our readings for this 5th Sunday of Easter have our Apostles facing similar challenges in the face of their growing successes.

The Word for the 5th Sunday of Easter Acts 6:1-7
Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19
1 Peter 2:4-9
John 14:1-12

Our reading from Acts of the Apostles learning the hard way about the challenges that grow out of their continued success when their number of followers continues to grow.  Up to this point the Apostles have been doing their best to address the needs of the community, both spiritual and physical, but the community has grown so large now that they are becom…