Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time (October 16, 2016)

Salesian Perspective

You and I are the Church because of our baptism.

As our Holy Father has reminded us, we have a baptismal responsibility to participate in the worldwide missionary task of the Church. Half the people of the world have yet to hear of Jesus’ message of salvation. We have not been called to pack up and preach the Word in foreign lands. But we can participate in the missionary task.

We can pray daily for our brothers and sisters who have chosen to minister the Word around the world. Their task is often difficult; we can pray that they do not lose heart as they minister. We can also offer them financial assistance in their task. Many of the people they serve earn less than a dollar a day. These are our brothers and sisters in need - and we can help them.

The Scriptures today speak of perseverance - perseverance in the task of preaching the Word and perseverance in praying.

The image of Moses interceding for God’s people offers us some instruction about our community prayer. As Moses became weak and weary, Aaron and Hur held up his hands. Sometimes we come to community prayer weak and weary. The voices of our sisters help us to persevere in praying.

Listening to God’s word each day inspires us as we continue our baptismal commission to live and preach the Good News.

And what about our prayers of intercession? Do we believe that God cares enough to listen to us? Do we believe that God answers our prayers, even if it’s not always the answer we’re expecting? Or do we tend to lose heart after praying a few times?

Jesus’ question to his disciples in today’s Gospel is a question put to us: When I return, will I find you faithful, persevering? Or will I find that you have abandoned your trust in my love?

How we choose to live each day is the only answer we can give. May we pray each day for those who preach the Gospel throughout the world. And may we persevere each day, trusting in God’s love for us, and not losing heart.

Rev. Michael S. Murray, OSFS, is the Executive Director of the De Sales Spirituality Center.