October 16, 2016

A HOMILY FOR THE TWENTY-NINTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE “C” –  10/16/16  –  SMG

+ Pax et Bonum!  Peace and goodness to you this day!

The widow in today’s parable has a problem.  We’re not exactly sure what the problem is, but whatever it is, she doesn’t have anybody to help her with what’s going on.  Her husband is gone.  She either doesn’t have children, or they are too young, or they are older and have moved away.  But there’s no one to take up this woman’s cause.  And the matter must be fairly serious.  It must be a big deal!  How do we know this?  We know this because this woman, this widow, becomes relentless in pursuing this judge, whom she believes, is one of the few people around who can help her.

Have you ever been relentless?  Have you ever wanted, or even needed, something so bad, that you found yourself driving everybody crazy around you?  We can all be relentless.  You know, who’s relentless, kids making their Christmas list.  Remember, Ralphie, in “A Christmas Story”?  Ralphie was relentless when it came to wanting a Red Rider BB gun!  Kids can be that way, especially during this time of the year.  I’ve got to have that new bike.  I’ve got to have that doll house.  I’ve got to have that new phone.  Relentless!  People who have been out of work for a while, can also be relentless.  They kinda have to be today, to find a new job.  People who are sick, or people who have sick kids, also know how to be relentless.  The doctor’s office doesn’t call back, you learn to keep calling until they do.  We know what relentless is like.  Some of us, many of us, have been there before.

Unfortunately, for this poor widow, the one person that she needs to help her, is this corrupt judge.  The Gospel, the parable, even tell us, that this judge neither feared God NOR respected any human being.”  What a louse!  This is not a good person, let alone a good judge.  He’s not going to care a thing about this poor widow, because he doesn’t care about anybody other than himself.

And yet, because this Widow is relentless, because she is so persevering in her demands, even the evil judge is going to eventually listen to her and fix her situation.  If for no other reason than he is afraid of what she might do, or the knowledge that she is going to keep on bugging him until he does do something, or maybe it is just simply to get her off his back and get back to some peace and quiet, the corrupt judge is going to rule in the woman’s favor.  Sometimes it is very good to be relentless!

Now, Jesus tells us this parable in St. Luke’s Gospel, to remind us that we are to be relentless in our prayer.  Is Jesus saying that God is like a corrupt and evil judge?  No, of course not!  What He’s saying is, that even a corrupt and evil judge will cave in, because of perseverance!  Our God is NOT a corrupt and evil God.  Philosophically speaking, that would be impossible.  He can’t be God if He is corrupt and evil.  Our God is a Father, Our Father.  Our God loves us, and cares for us, and our God hears every single one of our prayers!  Our fancy, elegant prayers!  And even our simple, I-can’t-even put-the-words-together prayers.  God hears every one of them!  And this is why we must all persevere in our prayer.  We all must become relentless, when it comes to our prayer.

Our First Reading, from Exodus, is reminding us of this same thing!  The Israelites are winning the battle as long as Moses keeps his arms and his staff up in the air, imploring God’s help.  When Moses lets his arms down, the enemy starts to win!  Wouldn’t you have hated to be on that battlefield, watching the battle and watching Moses, and knowing that you couldn’t win if that old guy rests his arms?  No wonder they helped him hold his arms up!

God is with us!  We know that.  God hears and answers the prayers of His beloved sons and daughters every day in the way and the time which is best for our souls!  We’ve got to believe that.  So we do turn to Him in prayer every day, and it draws us closer to Him, and give us the grace and strength that we need to persevere in our Faith, and lead lives that give glory to God!  We too can be relentless.  All of us can!  Let us be God’s relentless people!

+  May God bless us today,  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…                                           AMEN !!!

St. Maria Goretti…                           Pray for us !!!