Homily for the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
By: Fr Justin Nzekwe
Homily for Sunday October 20 2019
Prayer simply means the communication between God and human. There are many kinds of prayers, and they are: thanksgiving, adoration, intercession, supplication and other reasons.
Today’s readings focus more on the prayers of supplication and intercession, which involves asking God for our own needs, and also the need of others. A good prayer of supplication and intercession must have these three major qualities, Obedience to God’s will and Persistence.
God answers every prayer which was prayed according to his will, and not just our own will. The right intention attracts the right response from God. According to the letter of Saint James (4:3), he said, “You ask but do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” Our life on earth is all about doing God’s will, and not our own will. Jesus taught his disciples to pray, “Our father who at in heaven, hallow be thy name, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…” when we seek the will of God in our prayers, we experience the contentment that goes with praying rightly. But when we seek our will, we become frustrated when we do not receive what we desire from God.
We must also be persistent enough, if we want to seek God’s favours through prayers. The widow in the gospel reading of today was patient with this judge who do not respect God or man. She kept disturbing this judge to come and deliver justice to her. Maybe this rude judge may have insulted her, but she didn’t give up. She knew what she wants, and what she was asking was right. She was neither asking God to destroy her enemies, nor for selfish interest, but for justice from a God who is already renowned for His justice, love and mercy. Her persistence made this judge who neither respect man or God to deliver justice to her, so that she can allow him to rest. And if human being can move against their will just because of mere disturbance from the needy, then God can answer our prayers even without disturbance, because he is our father and knows our needs even before we pray.
By our vocation as priests we automatically become intercessors for the people of God. To mediate between God and the people. Just like we read in the first reading, how during the battle of Israelites against Amalek, Moses was standing atop the hill with his arms raised. And from time to time, however, his arms would grow weary and fall, and then the tide would turn against the people. So Aaron and Hur made Moses sit on a stone and they held up his arms, until the final victory was won. We are called to remain steadfast in praying for the people of God even in our own difficult moments. For surely, the Church and the Holy Spirit will stand by us to enable us bring victory to God’s people.
God is willing and ready to grant justice to his chosen ones, who cry to him day and night” (cf. Lk 18:7). We may not know when and how, yet we must learn to pray like Mary, when she said, “Be it done to me according to your will”. We should learn to seek the will of God and not our own will. We should learn to give God a chance in our life, so that like clay, God will mould us into the type of persons He wants us to be.