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Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time ©

Scriptural Readings: Exodus 17:8-13; Psalms 121:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8; 2 Timothy 3:14-4:2; Luke 18:1-8

My dear encountered couples:

After telling the people to pray always and not give up, Jesus relates the story of the unjust judge who respected neither God nor people. A widow kept coming to him and requesting her rights against an opponent. She bothered him so much that he finally carried out her request. Then Jesus asked, “If the unjust judge would settle the case in the widow’s favor, would not God bring about quick justice for anyone who called out to him night and day in prayer?” Jesus looked around and then asked another question “But when the Son of Man comes, will he find any faith on the earth?”

Jesus certainly was not making God out to be like this unjust judge. He was just trying to point out that if the unjust judge was finally going to give in to the request of this widow because she was wearing him out, certainly God who loves us so much would answer the prayers of his people. The point Jesus was trying to make: “Does anyone really believe in God’s great love?” Do you?

I wonder if any one of us truly realizes the depth, the warmth, and the passion of God’s love for us. For if we did, we would not fret and worry over so many things as we do. So often we find ourselves acting as if there were no God who cared about what is going on. We forget about the God who fed the Israelites in the desert for 40 years. We overlook the generosity of Jesus who fed the 5000 with a few fish and loaves of bread. We don’t remember the father who lavishly welcomed home his prodigal son. Or the passion and death of Jesus all done out of love for us.

Many, many things in scripture and in our own lives point out the great love of God for us. But when Jesus, the Son of Man appears at the end of time, will he find anyone who really believes in God’s love for people?

A difficulty that exists for us is the busy, busy life we lead. There is so much to do and so little time to do it. And if we find time to take a break from it all, we fill it with television, partying, chatter, music, the internet, the ipads, and the iphones, trivialities of many kinds. These things that are occasionally good for us can become the only things we do during any spare time we might be able to work into our schedules.

That which can be truly beneficial, we avoid. Why? Because we lack the faith that Jesus is talking about to see the importance and value in it. We might even think it is boring. But – we need and we must take time to think about God and his love for us. We must become aware that God loves us with an unconditional, unrelentless, passionate love that moves him to be involved in every moment of our lives. There is nothing you do without God being with you and helping you to do it right. There is nothing that happens to you without God being there to bring out the best in the situation for you. But do you believe that?

This is what Jesus is concerned about. The person who “prays always without losing faith” is the person who is relaxed in the love of God at all times - while still living and doing the things that life requires. That person is similar to the child who is playing with his toys on the floor of the living room, secure in the knowledge that his mother or father is there in the house if he needs them for anything. The child is engrossed in his play, while relaxed in confident assurance of his parents’ love.

Such a child possesses this confidence because he has observed his parents showing that love in their actions. Similarly, we must observe the love of God in his actions. How? By becoming aware of him.

Learn about God by reading the Bible and other spiritual books, spend time with him in silence. Try meditating on the mysteries of the rosary; get to know Jesus in the Stations of the Cross. Speak to God, and more importantly, learn how to listen to him. Become aware of the many good things that have happened in your life. Even see the good that came out of the bad and unpleasant things. Discover God in all this. For he has been with you and will continue to be your companion, protector, and helper. Get to know personally God as your Father, Jesus as your brother, the Holy Spirit as your wisdom, delight and joy.

Often you may not have any awareness of God’s presence. But as you grow in faith, you, like the child with his toys, will rest assured that your Mother and Father, God, is with you. Actually it is a part of God’s love for you that moves him to remove from you any feeling of his presence. For he wants you to do things, to work, even to struggle so that you will develop and mature. He wants you to become strong and confident. Even though he is there making all the good possible, he wants you to exert yourself so that you can reach your peak as a complete man or woman.

Through all that happens in your life, God is forming you into the perfect, unique person he wants you to be. This can happen. And it will happen - if you let it - by relaxing within yourself in the confident assurance that God loves you. But for this to happen, you need to take time out to get to know God. Then, eventually, when the Son of Man does come, you will be one of those people on earth whom he finds possessing faith.


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