Liturgy of the Sunday

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Twenty-ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time

First Reading

Exodus 17,8-13

The Amalekites then came and attacked Israel at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, 'Pick some men and tomorrow morning go out and engage Amalek. I, for my part, shall take my stand on the hilltop with the staff of God in my hand.' Joshua did as Moses had told him and went out to engage Amalek, while Moses, Aaron and Hur went up to the top of the hill. As long as Moses kept his arms raised, Israel had the advantage; when he let his arms fall, the advantage went to Amalek. But Moses' arms grew heavy, so they took a stone and put it under him and on this he sat, with Aaron and Hur supporting his arms on each side. Thus his arms remained unwavering till sunset, and Joshua defeated Amalek, putting their people to the sword.


Psalm 120


My help comes from the Lord.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains :
from where shall come my help?

My help shall come from the Lord
who made heaven and earth.

May he never allow you to stumble!
Let him sleep not, your guard.

No, he sleeps not nor slumbers,
Israel's guard.

The Lord is your guard and your shade;
at your right side he stands.

By day the sun shall not smite you
nor the moon in the night.

The Lord will guard you from evil
he will guard your soul.

The Lord will guard your going and coming
both now and for ever.

Second Reading

2 Timothy 3,14-4,2

You must keep to what you have been taught and know to be true; remember who your teachers were, and how, ever since you were a child, you have known the holy scriptures -from these you can learn the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and useful for refuting error, for guiding people's lives and teaching them to be upright. This is how someone who is dedicated to God becomes fully equipped and ready for any good work. Before God and before Christ Jesus who is to be judge of the living and the dead, I charge you, in the name of his appearing and of his kingdom: proclaim the message and, welcome or unwelcome, insist on it. Refute falsehood, correct error, give encouragement -- but do all with patience and with care to instruct.

Reading of the Gospel

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Luke 18,1-8

Then he told them a parable about the need to pray continually and never lose heart. 'There was a judge in a certain town,' he said, 'who had neither fear of God nor respect for anyone. In the same town there was also a widow who kept on coming to him and saying, "I want justice from you against my enemy!" For a long time he refused, but at last he said to himself, "Even though I have neither fear of God nor respect for any human person, I must give this widow her just rights since she keeps pestering me, or she will come and slap me in the face." ' And the Lord said, 'You notice what the unjust judge has to say? Now, will not God see justice done to his elect if they keep calling to him day and night even though he still delays to help them? I promise you, he will see justice done to them, and done speedily. But when the Son of man comes, will he find any faith on earth?'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia


Jesus offers his disciples a parable on the need to always pray, without tiring. Prayer is not a decorative part of life, but a necessity for us and for the world we live in, and we understand it starting from the example of the insistent widow. It is a typical situation, not only in Jesus' time but today as well, in which the poor and vulnerable are victims of injustices masked as legality. In the parable there is a judge who should, with impartiality and timeliness, defend that poor woman. But the magistrate behaves completely in the opposite way, he does not fear God nor humanity. In a certain way, the arrogance of power comes through, which we always find in the story of humanity.
At this point, the story of the parable begins: what will the poor widow do in this situation of evident injustice? Furthermore, in the ancient Jewish world, women like her were symbols of weakness, on top of being the most exposed to abuses of power. God himself becomes their defender: indeed, He is invoked with the title "protector of widows," now without the protection of her husband (Ps 68:5). This woman does not give up. Instead, with insistence she goes to the judge and demands right judgement. She did not do it only once but more times, with tenacity she did not tire of demanding justice until the judge decided to hear her case. "Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them?" (vv 7-8). Yes, God will not make us wait long, he will bring justice soon (some translate "suddenly," "when you least expect it") if, with insistence, we turn our prayer to Him. In truth, believers have an incredible power in prayer, an energy that is capable of changing the world. We are all, maybe, like that poor widow, weak, without particular power; and yet this weakness, in insistent prayer, becomes a powerful force, like for the widow who was able to break the judge's hardness.