Sunday, October 20, 2019

Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

World Mission Sunday

Readings of the Day
RB: Ch 16 The Celebration of the Divine Office During the Day
Mass: Ex 17:8-13; Resp Ps 121; 2 Tm 3:14-4:2; Lk 18:1-8

The Lord is your guardian; the Lord is your shade; he is beside you at your right hand.


Welcome to World Mission Sunday! It's a busy Sunday round the monastery and deciding what to write about does not come without difficulty. We can begin by asking ourselves a question posed by Pope Francis in today's Angelus Address: "Do I pray for missionaries? Do I pray for those who go far away to bring the Word of God with their witness?" With the Holy Father, then, we ask that "Mary, mother of all nations might accompany and protect the missionaries of the Gospel every day."

Themes abound in today's Word proclaimed. I offer something from each of the readings for Mass.

For starters we have one of my favorites from the Book of Exodus. There we have tired Moses, supported by his friends who kindly "put a rock in place for Moses to sit on", then helped him out, "one on one side and one on the other, so that Moses's hands remained steady till sunset." The result? Joshua and Co. prevailed over Amalek and his people. I think of the Beatles and their hit "Use a Little Help from My Friends." 

Next St Paul encourages us to "proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching." 

And lastly, from the Gospel, Jesus tells us of the necessity to pray without ceasing. May we be persistent like the widow in the parable. 

In conclusion, we are all missionaries whether we find ourselves in a land faraway or at home or work with family, community, guests or even alone. Pope Francis encourages all of us: Go and show love to everyone, because your life is a precious mission: it is not a burden to be borne, but a gift to offer (Twitter, October 20, 2019).

Persistence. Mutual service. Charity. Prayer. Perseverance in faith. Living and true God help us. 

The essential act of prayer is to stand unprotected before God. What will God do? He will take possession of us. That he should do this is the whole purpose of our life. 
(Sister Wendy Mary Beckett, 1930-2018

Persistent prayer reaches its goal. And if at the beginning prayer seems to you dry and stony, still from the hardest of rocks you will squeeze the oil of grace if only you persevere.
(Gilbert of Hoyland, 12th century Cistercian abbot)

This is our mission: to show by our lives, and perhaps even by our words, that God loves everyone and never tires of anyone.
(Pope Francis, Twitter, October 20, 2019)

© Gertrude Feick 2019

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