Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM

Today’s Readings

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Oct.17, 2010 Lectionary # 148
Scripture: Exodus 17:8-13. Psalm 121:5-6.7-8. Luke 18:1-8. Lectionary #
Prayer, faith, and patience are among the themes for this Sunday's
liturgical readings. We focus on prayer through another parable given by
Jesus as an example of how we should pray with persistence, patience, and
dogged indurance. The widow does this in the area of her need for justice;
she bothers a disinterested and selfish judge who in the end takes on her
case so as to get rid of being bothered. Now that does get one's attention
even today as we hear Jesus teaching us again the value and need for
prayer. The genius of Jesus shines through in his homely parables that
take us back into the first century yet are equally persuasive and helpful
for our own times. The truth of the parable is perennial and the word of
the Lord comes in many ways to us in the Scriptures.

Luke emphasizes the strong teachings of Jesus about the poor, about prayer,
and about the Holy Spirit. These are also encased in his image of Jesus
which is that of a gentle, merciful, and kind divine and human person who
is there to help us in our needs both corporal and spiritual. As listeners
or readers of his colorful parables we are captivated by his examples. He
is a splendid teacher who gets our attention and holds it till we figure
out how does this apply to me today. We are his disciples and learners. We
desire to follow him and we are eager to learn how he wants us to follow
him. The guidelines, the map, the way are seen in his sayings, his
teachings, his parables.

Where does the parable break down? That is the key toward what we are to do
with it when adjusting its meaning to ourselves or to our community of
faith. It perhaps breaks down with the judge who breaks down and finally
resolves the issue that is at stake for this widow. Maybe this is the way
that Jesus is telling us to storm heaven with our prayers no matter what
the need is. Our patience and persistence will lead to an answer from the
Lord. Like the woman we are encouraged not to plead a judge to solve our
financial or social troubles, rather we are to pray and not lose heart. As
the parable ends we learn that Jesus acts another question that is related
to how to get the heavenly judge to take up our cause. Jesus asks, "Will
such faith and trust be ours? Will faithful prayer be found in our hearts
and not only on our lips? The other readings assist us in the theme of
faith and prayer by seeing Moses with his hands lifted up to the Lord and
his disciples supporting his arms when he tires in raising them in prayer
to God.

The selection from Timothy shows us how important the Scriptures are for
the Church and for each one of us. They support our prayer and help us to
be patient as we learn more and more from them through meditation, study,
and prayerful reflection (lectio divina). Amen.