Sunday Gospel reflections: Don’t be discouraged!

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

Photo: Steve Heap/Shutterstock

Every fall I cover and tie down with rope the outdoor furniture on our deck.

One November day I watched with fascination as a small red squirrel pulled with all its might on one of the cords. Gnawing at it and bunching it up in its paws, the tiny animal tugged that rope from every possible angle. For three days the squirrel returned to its seemingly impossible task — until finally it somehow succeeded in undoing the rope I thought I had tied so securely!

Like the persistent squirrel, the widow in Sunday’s Gospel does not give up even in the face of repeated rejections. When the judge can see no other way to get rid of her, he finally grants her request.

Of course, God is neither a resistant knot nor an unjust judge! The message of the parable, as indicated in the introductory line, is about persisting in prayer without becoming disheartened.

It is easy to become discouraged with prayer. So often our efforts can feel dry, boring, empty, a waste of time. We are not at all sure if God is listening. However, Sunday’s Gospel encourages us to be faithful and persistent.

Setting aside even a few minutes daily to consciously be in God’s presence is an act of prayer in itself. All we have to do is “show up” as consistently as possible, and God will do the rest.

 — Krystyna Higgins


Exodus 17:8-13

Psalm 121:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8

2 Timothy 3:14–4:2

Luke 18:1-8

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