Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Recently, one of my relatives called me and asked for prayers because his baby girl was born with Dandy–Walker syndrome (DWS), a rare group of congenital human brain malformations. While the situation is very unfortunate, sadly, it often takes misfortune to lead us to prayer and to acknowledge our need for God’s help.

Today’s first reading and the Gospel remind us that despite our behaviors, God remains faithful when we call to Him. The first reading tells how the people of Israel, under the leadership of Moses and Joshua, attack Amalek. Interestingly, when Moses lowered his hands, Amalek had a better fight.  Seeing this, Moses is seated on a rock while Aaron and Hur support his hands.  Obviously, the Israelites have a better chance of winning the battle if they rely on God.  However, it takes some defeats for them to realize that they need to put their trust entirely in God.  In the Gospel, Jesus reminds us that God always hears us when we pray. If an unjust judge listens to a widow’s plea, “will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night?”

Many years ago, while I was attending a daily Mass, I heard a young lady mention her petitionary prayer out loud.  She prayed that she needed God’s help in finishing her term paper. At that time I was chuckling because I thought that it was a silly prayer request. Why did she need to ask God’s intercession for a simple term paper? In retrospect, my ego led me to neglect God’s gift of prayer. In the last year, I too have been praying for God’s help for the successful completion of my academic projects. I have been praying without ceasing because I feel so overwhelmed with the fear of failure. Let us pause for a moment and reflect: do I believe in God’s gift of prayer? Is there any moment when I seriously neglect God’s gift of prayer?

October 16th, 2016