Weekly Scripture

Reflection on the Lectionary Readings for
October 20, 2019

Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The four pillars of parish stewardship are hospitality, prayer, formation and service. Today’s readings show us the immense value of prayer and the privileged place it must have in our individual lives and our in parish community.

Our Lord Himself calls us to prayer — and persistence in prayer — in the Gospel passage from Luke. Jesus tells the parable of the nagging widow who finally wears down the judge with her unrelenting persistence in her pursuit of a just ruling from him on her behalf. Jesus goes to great lengths to describe this judge, saying he “neither feared God nor respected any human.” Yet even this corrupt judge responds with a just judgment because of the widow’s persistence.

Jesus uses this outlandish example to draw a vivid contrast between a reluctant, dishonest judge and our loving, all-merciful Father. If even a bad judge will give a good result in response to a persistent request, how much more (infinitely more) eagerly and perfectly will our good Father respond to our persistent prayers to Him.

If he delays in responding, if he provides a different response from the one we were expecting, we can remain confident and trusting in His goodness, knowing that His response, whenever it comes and in whatever form, will be the very best one for us.

Our job then, as Christian stewards, is simply to remain faithful to our relationship with God through prayer. We must lean on each other in our communities — family and parish — as we support each other in prayer. A strong pillar of prayer will make all our other stewardship efforts fruitful.