Sunday, October 20, 2013

Today's Mass Reading - Sunday, October 20, 2013 with Reflection

1ST READING - Exodus 17:8-13
In those days, Amalek came and waged war against Israel. Moses, therefore, said to Joshua, “Pick out certain men, and tomorrow go out and engage Amalek in battle. I will be standing on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” 10 So Joshua did as Moses told him: he engaged Amalek in battle after Moses had climbed to the top of the hill with Aaron and Hur. 11 As long as Moses kept his hands raised up, Israel had the better of the fight, but when he let his hands rest, Amalek had the better of the fight. 12 Moses’ hands, however, grew tired; so they put a rock in place for him to sit on. Meanwhile Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other, so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 And Joshua mowed down Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.
P S A L M - Psalm 121:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8
R: Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
I lift up my eyes toward the mountains; whence shall help come to me? 2My help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. (R) May he not suffer your foot to slip; may he slumber not who guards you: indeed he neither slumbers nor sleeps, the guardian of Israel. (R) The Lord is your guardian; the Lord is your shade; he is beside you at your right hand. The sun shall not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. (R) The Lord will guard you from all evil; he will guard your life. The Lord will guard your coming and your going, both now and forever. (R)
2ND READING - 2 Timothy 3:14-4:2
14 Beloved: Remain faithful to what you have learned and believed, because you know from whom you learned it, 15 and that from infancy you have known the sacred scriptures, which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 4: I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingly power: proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching.
The word of God is living and effective, discerning reflections andthoughts of the heart.
Luke 18:1-8
Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. He said, “There was a judge in a certain town who neither feared God nor respected any human being. And a widow in that town used to come to him and say, ‘Render a justdecision for me against my adversary.’ For a long time the judge wasunwilling, but eventually he thought, ‘While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me.’” The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says. Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”



I once saw a photo of a man holding aloft, with one hand, a grand piano, to the amusement of onlookers. Later, they discovered that the piano was tied to an invisible cord from above. It was a trick to amuse people in the park but there is a certain level of truth in that picture. We become strong when we attach ourselves to an invisible source from above. Today’s Responsorial Psalm summed it: “Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”

       In today’s First Reading, Israel was in battle with Amalek and his soldiers. Moses asked for help from the Lord. Help came in the form of a staff that Moses had to hold in his hands and keep aloft during battle. When Moses’ hands grew tired, all he needed was another pair of hands (those of Aaron and Hur) to support his arms as Joshua engaged in battle.

       When David faced Goliath, he asked for help from the God of Israel. All he had were five stones and a slingshot. Placed in the service of God and anointed by Him, he downed the giant Goliath.

       Samson faced thousands of heavily armed Philistines. He asked for help from God and the help came in the form of a jawbone of a donkey he found lying on the ground. It was something very ordinary, but with God’s anointing, Samson defeated the enemy of thousands.

       What do all these tell us? First, when we ask help from the Lord, let us not expect something extraordinary. Most of the time, God uses the natural — a staff, a stone, a jawbone — to achieve something supernatural. Blessed Mother Teresa said, “Be ready to do the ordinary and God will do the extraordinary.” Second, God is God not to rocking-chair Christians who pray and then sit down on their rocking chair, waiting for the blessings to fall on their laps. God is God to blue-jeans Christians who are willing to roll up their sleeves, dirty their clothes and work with God’s anointing.

       So, the next time you are in trouble, ask God for help. But remember, too, that when you need a hand, there’s always one at the end of your own arms. Fr. Joel O. Jason
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: When you cry to God for help, do you focus only on what you do not have? Do you look at what you have and place them for God’s anointing?
Lord Jesus, I will pray as if everything depended on You and I will also work as if everything depended on me. Amen.

St. Maria Bertilla Coscardin, pray for us.

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