On 26th September I noticed a post from one of my young cousins on social media. It said – ‘Feeling heartbroken, my beautiful boy had a seizure yesterday, massive swelling on his brain, he is in ICU on a ventilator.” I started praying and contacted her to let her know I was praying. I also asked some dear friends to pray for her son as well; prayer warriors. This is a boy I have never met, and I haven’t seen my cousin in over 20 years. Over the next couple of weeks lots of prayers were said and then last week, out of the blue, another post stating “My son is an absolute miracle. He is back, can’t believe it.” I sent further messages to her and after a couple of exchanges she made a video call to me. She looked tired and she was emotional but overjoyed and kept saying the word miracle. She is very grateful for all the prayers. I don’t know if a miracle is involved here, I don’t know how poorly her son was, or how the doctors thought this would end. But to my cousin this is a miracle. For those of us praying it strengthens our faith.
Our scripture readings today remind us to be faithful, to trust in God and in Holy Scripture. The first reading from Exodus tells us how Moses used the staff of God; the same staff which God had instructed Moses to strike the rock and find water; to inspire the Israelites to victory against the Amalekites. His faith in God inspiring an army to victory. The psalm speaks about faith too as we repeat the words ‘Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth.’ The psalm speaks of God protecting us, keeping us upright and on the right track, protecting us from evil.
In St Paul’s letter to Timothy, he reminds us to pass on the faith using scripture, stating that all of holy scripture is inspired by God. We are to use scripture to teach and to refute error. We are to use scripture to guide our lives and to teach us to become holy. Through scripture St Paul tells us we can become fully equipped and ready for good work.
The Gospel this week has direct teaching from Jesus. He teaches on the need to be persistent when we pray, to not give up just because we think our prayers have not been answered. He gives the example of a judge, who doesn’t seem to have the necessary qualities to be a judge as he has ‘neither fear of God nor respect for man’. This judge was plagued by a poor widow seeking justice, he refused her justice until he realised that it would be the best thing to do to suit himself. By hearing the widow’s pleas and granting her wish he could have an easier life. Jesus is not teaching us how to have an easier mind or a clear conscience here. Jesus is telling us that if an unjust judge can give in to persistence, how much more likely it is that our loving God who is the just judge will grant the requests of those who persist in their appeal to Him.
The message today is stay faithful, trust in God, read the scriptures, pray, pray and pray again. Don’t give up. God is with us, God can do anything, God answered the prayers of Moses in the Old Testament, God answered the prayers of the Apostles in the New Testament and God answered the prayers of my cousin in 2022. If you have worries, engage others in your prayers, don’t let pride get in the way, recruit others to be your prayer warriors. God listens and God is moved by the prayers of His faithful. We know this is true as ‘Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth.’
The Catechism of the Catholic Church
CCC 2574-2577: Moses and prayer of intercession
CCC 2629-2633: prayer of petition
CCC 2653-2654: the Word of God, a source of prayer
CCC 2816-2821: “Thy kingdom come”
CCC 875: urgency of the preaching task
Please keep in your prayers this week
- The Ukrainian and Russian people, may they be able to live in peace.
- Those who are sick, those recovering from surgery, those who are dying, the recently deceased and those who mourn.
- All those struggling to feed their families at this time.
- Those working to help others who are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.
- Those in business who have the power to make decisions to help the poor.
- Politicians, that they may adopt an attitude of service to enable them to protect the most vulnerable people in our society.
- Those who feel distant from God, that they can be inspired by the Christian acts of those around them to seek God in everyday things.
- Those attending the Propaedeutic weekend for the Permanent Diaconate at Oscott College.