29th Sunday in Ordinary Time – October 29, 2016

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time – October 29, 2016

29C 10/29/16

Recently, I tried to use a ball point pen and it just would not write at all.  I tried a few more and, although, I got some of them to work for a little while, they would stop, then start again, and stop yet again.  They had either completely or partially dried up.  Such is our spiritual life when we don’t pray or just pray every now and then.  Our spiritual life runs dry or lackadaisical.  We have spiritual life when we are the branch that is connected to the vine and only insofar as we stay connected.

Prayer has many forms.  Aaron’s raised hands were his way of communicating with Yahweh.  Yahweh answered in return by giving the Israelites the victory as long as he was in prayer, i.e., as long as his hands were raised.  In Luke 18:1-8, it says,   ” Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.”  God will answer our prayers as he sees fit or as he sees things, i.e., according to his will.  I understand the phrase “without becoming weary,” to mean without stopping our prayer or becoming lackadaisical.  Otherwise, we cut ourselves off from the only true source of goodness.

In 2 Timothy 3:14-44:2, Paul writes, “ Beloved: Remain faithful to what you have learned and believed, because you know from whom you learned it, and that from infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”  The sacred Scriptures that Paul is referring to, are what we call the Old Testament.  Paul’s   ‘2 Timothy’ is, in fact, an example or part of the New Testament in the act of being written.  When we read the Scriptures, not only in an intellectual mode, trying to understand what the words are saying, but also in a prayerful mode, trying to listen to what the Holy Spirit may be saying to us through the words of Scripture, then we are capable of receiving “wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”

In the last line of Luke 18:1-8, it says, ”But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Jesus finds that all too many people fail to respond or respond only half-heartedly to him.  Some do become weary and are not persist.

These Sunday readings require rebirth(Jn.3:1-9), i.e., leaving behind, burying many habits that have become ingrained from our infancy: to be independent, self-reliant, not needing anyone, not even God. The devil and secular society do everything to reinforce those behaviors, those mental & emotional sets. To be truly a follower of Jesus & led by God, the Holy Spirit, we ought to die through the grace of God to one’s old self, to be reborn a new person in Christ, a person who is reliant only on the Lord, dependent on God every moment.