29th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Sunday, October 20, 2019

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Father Toby Collins

October 17, 2019

In today’s Gospel (Luke 18:1-8) Jesus tells the parable of the widow who cries to the judge for justice.  It is important to contextualize this story with the opening line of Gospel: “Jesus told the disciples a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart.” and with the closing line of the Gospel: “And yet when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth.” Let us spend a moment each on prayer, not losing heart and faith.

First, prayer is essential in the life of the Christian because it contextualizes our need for God and our total and utter dependence upon God.  I can fool myself to think that I don’t need God and that I can: “do it myself” but that is simply not true!  Living a life of prayer acknowledges that we are creatures and that God is the Creator.  The more that we as creatures are connected to our Creator the more we can become like God, i.e., the more holy we can become.

Secondly, not losing heart.  It is so easy to become discouraged and disheartened when we constantly pray either for someone or something and our prayers appear to go unanswered.  While living a life of prayer I must always use Jesus’s prayer in the garden as my “measuring stick”.  Jesus tells the Father what he wants: that the cup pass however, he concludes his prayer by saying that his Father’s will be done and not his own.  Ouch!  Today’s Collect reminds us of the same as it says: “Almighty ever-living God, grant that we may always conform our will to yours…”

Lastly, let us turn our attention to faith. Hebrews 11:1 says: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”  Our faith though only the size of a mustard seed is nurtured in the soil of Hope!  As Romans 5:5 states: “hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.”  And so, we are a people of Hope!  We live in Hope!  Let us ask the Holy Spirit to enliven our hope, deepen our trust and strengthen our conviction that God in God’s time will always “somehow” be faithful to God’s promises.