29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Parishioners, 

How long are we willing to be faithful?  Faith is indeed a life-long journey, which for many of us began as children.  We learned the faith gradually, through coming to Church, receiving the sacraments, and learning to make faith personal.  Communal prayer and worship is vital, but so is a personal relationship with God.  This weekends gospel tells the story of the unjust judge and the persistent widow.  In this case, the judge was not moved by faith or a sense of what is “right” or “just”.  He was moved by her persistence. He was moved because she stayed the course and did not give in to his attempt at dismissal. If the unjust can eventually do the right thing, than how much more will God?  This gospel was composed at a time when the expected return of Jesus was delayed.  Perhaps Luke himself is aware of some in the community of believers who have given up on this expected return of Jesus and gone back to former ways of life.  We cannot give up easily.  Even if an answer to our prayer or a direction we are seeking is long in coming, and perhaps seems hopeless, we can never give up!  Persistence wins the day! What is right will prevail.  It may take time, work, dedication, and a monumental effort, but we must never give up the belief that God will “secure the rights of his chosen ones”.   The last line of the gospel is telling:  “But when the Son of Man comes will he find any faith on the earth?”  The task of communicating faith is what we must be about.  It is that faith that will save us.  It has been said over 280 times in the New Testament alone!  But we must possess that faith.  We must encourage and develop it in ourselves and in those we are entrusted to.  It is not just something that we can live by, it is something that saves us!  We may need the help of others, as did Moses in the first reading.  We may need to  proclaim that faith to a cold-hearted, often unbelieving world, as Paul encourages. There is no other option! “Faith is not a concussion from premises, but the result of an act of the will, following on the conviction that to believe is a duty” St. John Henry Newman.