Homily for 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C

posted Oct 21, 2016, 11:37 AM by Church Office   [ updated Oct 21, 2016, 11:37 AM by Michelle Massung ]

            Today, we hear about perseverance in prayer in the Gospel.  The widow needs to have a situation resolved in her life. It is probably a dispute over land or property.  However, she is a widow, the lowest from of humanity during the time of Jesus. She has no power in society and no influence.  She knows that because of her social status, she is going to have a difficult time getting the judge to render her a decision, especially in her favor.  So what does she do? She gets up each day and appears in front of the judge, a public event and pleads her case each and every day.  As she continually appears before the judge, her case is heard by the public and they start to side with her and her plight.  The widow, together with the people, finally shames the judge into rendering a judgment in her favor. 

            Jesus’ point in the parable is that the judge is indifferent towards the widow and the people and even to God.  The widow is not really loved by anybody and must stand on her own and plead her case to the judge.  If this indifferent judge will render a decision in favor of this widow, how much more will God, our all loving and merciful God, listen to and answer our prayers. 

                        From a biblical and theological perspective, perseverance means continuance in a state of grace to the end leading to eternal life.  More often, our prayer requests that we bring to God are of a temporal nature.  We may ask him to cure a relative, or bring us peace in our lives, or to help us to overcome an addiction or many other things in our life.  Yet each of these is for our temporal benefit.  God wants us to be reunited with him in Heaven and wants us to share in his kingdom.  God wants us to pray with perseverance so we grow closer to him and are given the grace to continue on our spiritual journey until we reach our reward. By praying continuously, we are turning our lives over to God and developing a deeper personal relationship with him.  Our faith increases and we are able to endure through the trials and tribulations in our lives. In this way, God answers our prayers in a heavenly manner and not one that is only temporal in nature.  The temporal will pass way and the heavenly will last for all of eternity.

            God answers our prayers in his way, the way he knows that will be best for us to spend eternal life with him in heaven. We have to trust him and allow him to control us and for us not to control God in our prayer requests.  In this way, our perseverance will be rewarded with the gift of everlasting life, a gift far greater than we can even imagine in our own lives.