Breaking Open the Word
By James Cavanagh
Oct. 17: 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time
After their escape from Egypt across the Red Sea the Israelites headed south to Mount Sinai, where Moses and the people were to meet God and receive the commandments. At a place called Rephidim, however, they were met with fierce resistance by a tribe of that region. The connection with the Gospel is signified by the battle and Moses’ upraised hands: a typical posture of prayer.
The Amelekites represent the “enemies” that stand between us and God. As long as Moses’ hands were raised, the battle went to the Israelites, but when he lowered them, the Amelekites prevailed.
St. Paul wrote two letters to Timothy. The main purpose of the second letter is to encourage him to be persistent in preaching the Gospel, “whether it is convenient or inconvenient.” Paul urges him to rely on Scripture, which is “useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”
Finally, in this week’s Gospel Jesus uses a parable to illustrate the importance of persistence in prayer. If a “dishonest judge” will give a poor widow what she wants because of her persistence, then how much more will our heavenly Father answer those who beseech him with all their heart.
“Catechism of the Catholic Church”:
Pope Benedict XVI:
James Cavanagh is director of Evangelization and Catechesis for Metro-Area Parishes of the Denver Archdiocese. For information on subscribing to "Breaking Open the Word, click here. For archives click here.