Summary: Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time - 29th Sunday, Cycle C
The motto, ‘living life on life’s terms’ means to accept the circumstances, environment and things out of our control.
The widow in that town kept going to the judge and say “render a just decision for me against my adversary.” Her adversary was either exacting money from her unjustly or she needed her rightful portion of an inheritance.
It is obvious that the powerless widow doesn't have a chance against this powerful and uncompassionate judge.
Likewise, in our First Reading, the inadequacy of Moses: to keep his hands aloft, Moses' hands were heavy; and the widow: Power in Seeming Weakness.
There can be no doubt but that the whole action is meant to be interpreted theologically.
Feel like a poor widow? The word for “widow” in Hebrew literally means “one who is silent”: to have nothing, vulnerable, no voice, but what she did have was persistence.
The parable encourages us to tackle difficult issues with confidence. But there will be difficult issues because that is part of life’s terms.
When we quit praying, we cut ourselves off from the power of God, and then our cynicism becomes self-fulfilling.
This message achieves its fullest force in the passion, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. His seeming helplessness in the face of his powerful governmental executioners is transformed into the very defeat of the powers of sin and death.
St. Paul teaches us to draw on the power of apparent weakness to overcome death-dealing powers.
This is a call to persistence in prayer, and not to "become weary, tired" or "lose heart, despair." The parable cautions us not to expect immediate results. Galatians 6:9 makes reference to not becoming weary in well-doing and in 2 Corinthians 4:1 makes a reference to the ministry of reconciliation.
What you do not understand and are not aware of, you repress. You don't change. But when you understand it, it changes. Persistent prayer includes invoking the gift of understanding from the Holy Spirit and study on the issue at hand.
E.g. A scholar named Ford said if he were the judge's therapist, he would resist the temptation to be disgusted or withdraw and would instead try to become curious and hypothesize that the judge “who neither feared God nor respected any human being” once felt as this widow does: angry, baffled, and rejected. To put it differently, the judge may, as an adult, just be mimicking the behavior of those upon whom he once depended. Just as he was earlier controlled by others and then put down for resisting that control, he now dominates this woman and blames her for his resulting distress.
2. Understanding is also key for the Militant Church.
In our First Reading, Amalek attacked first. Typically, this shows us that sin takes the offensive in the life of a Christian in order to cause us to regress.
Amalek has chiefly a symbolic function, standing for any person, group or nation who by attacking Israel resists the divine will.
Two passages stress the gratuitous nature of the Amalekite assault: in Ex. 17 they come and fight without any provocation, probably before the Israelites have a chance to assuage their thirst, and in Deut. 25 they snipe, in cowardly fashion, at fatigued stragglers among the Israelites.
The Lord will wage war on Amalek from generation to generation (Ex. 17:16). That is part of the terms of the spiritual life in this world for the baptized.
Amalek likes smiting the enfeebled when you are faint and felt tired.
But the present moment is never intolerable. What's intolerable is what's going to happen in the next four hours. To have your body here at 8 pm and your mind at 10:30 pm, that's what causes us suffering.
e.g. A disciple asked, “What can I do to see reality as it is?"
The spiritual master smiled and said, "I have good news and bad news for you, my friend." "What's the bad news?" "There's nothing you can do but to see it as a gift." "And what's the good news?" "There's nothing you can do but to see it as a gift.
The fruits of this acceptance is we’ll find ourselves with more serenity and fulfillment in daily life, with gratitude for the simple joys of life, as well as how to appreciate the role you play in the grand scheme of things.
Prayer is the secret of keeping faith. "Will the faith (that God will vindicate His people) be found on the earth at the coming of the Son of Man?"
A delay in his coming does not nullify the certainty.
The faith mentioned here naturally means that faith which sustains.