With prayer all things are possible, 9TH OCTOBER 2016
The readings for today’s Liturgy, especially the First and Gospel, invites us to a deep prayer life because with prayer all things are possible. We are invited, again, to let our prayer be action oriented and never lose heart under any circumstance even if it seems hopeless.In the first reading, we are told that the Israelites won a battle over the Amalekites due to a persistent and persevering prayers offered by Moses on behalf of God’s people with the help of Aaron and Hur. What really necessitated the battle with the Amalek was the fact that the Israelites were attacked by them without any provocation. Perhaps the Amalekites were men of military might who saw the Israelites to be weak. Moses was aware of the fact the Amalekites were really strong. Yet, he could not sit down unconcerned. He therefore instructed Joshua to pick out men and engage Amalek while he stood on the hill top with the staff of God in his hand. Moses believed in what he once said when he led the Israelites through the Red Sea that ‘’ The Lord will fight for you and you have only to keep still (Exodus 14:14).Moses also demonstrated that prayer must necessarily be backed with action. Persistence and perseverance in prayer may be uncomfortable but it yields a harvest of fruitfulness. Moses had to be in an uncomfortable situation together with Aaron and Hur. Indeed, they recognized that the battle was the Lord’s. A reliance on God as symbolized by the raising of Moses’ hands show that our God is a dependable companion and if we rely on Him, we will not be disappointed. Therefore, the Israelites won a resounding victory over the Amalekites despite their military might.
It is this faith in the power of God to do all things that is demonstrated in the Gospel reading of today. The Gospel Reading also teaches about persistence and persevering prayer. We are told that there was a widow in a certain city who wanted justice to be granted her against her enemies but the judge refused her this request “In that city, there was a widow who kept coming to him saying ‘Grant me justice against my enemies’ For a while he refused …..”.Women in the Jewish culture were not involved in the day to day decision making process. Their husbands spoke on their behalf. Therefore, to be a widow in such a society is to be in a hopeless situation. Jesus drew attention to her persistent attitude to have justice. In the same way with God all things are possible, even in hopeless situations.
The Gospel Reading says: “In that city, there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people (Luke 18:2). It is obvious that goodness cannot flow from a judge who had no regard for God who is the source of all goodness and his creature (man). This means that the widow could not get justice under normal circumstance. However, we are told that the judge gave her speedy justice because of her persistent plea.It was his goodwill that brought justice to the widow but because the widow was a nuisance to him. If a poor widow got what she deserved from a judge, how much more will God’s children not receive what is right from a loving heavenly father. Let us consider the fact that the woman was a stranger, but we are children of God and he cares for his Children (Luke 11:13).Furthermore, we don’t only have God’s unfailing promises, but we also have the Holy Spirit, who assists us in our prayers (Romans 8: 26 -27). The greatest contrast is that the widow came to a court of law but God’s children come to the throne of grace (Hebrew 4: 14 – 16). That should encourage us to pray. The judge rendered to the poor widow because he was afraid she would wear him out. God answers prayers for His glory and for our good and He is not bothered when we come to Him.We are told again that the judge delayed but the widow did not give up until justice was done her. “For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, So that she may not wear me out by continually coming’. Remember that God’s delays are not delays of inactivity but of preparation. Indeed, God works in all things at all times, causing all things to work together to accomplish His purposes. The moment we send Him a request that is in accordance with His will, God begins to work. We may not see it now but it shall come to pass. Habakkuk says, “Though the vision may tarry, wait for it, it will surely come”. (Habakkuk 2: 3).In this month of the Rosary, let us ask our Mother to hold our hands and gently lead us to her son as we pray fervently. With her intercession we are assured of God’s support in all things. May the Almighty God bless us that we may find the help we need for our lives from God through the reading of the scripture and persistent prayer “AMEN”.