29th Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)
October 16, 2022
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.








Almighty ever-living God,
grant that we may always conform our will to yours
and serve your majesty in sincerity of heart.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

First Reading  Ex 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.”
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.
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.
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.
And Joshua mowed down Amalek and his people
   with the edge of the sword.

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

â„Ÿ. Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

Second Reading 2 Tm 3:14-4:2

Remain faithful to what you have learned and believed,
   because you know from whom you learned it,
   and that from infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures,
   which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation
   through faith in Christ Jesus.
All Scripture is inspired by God
   and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction,
   and for training in righteousness,
   so that one who belongs to God may be competent,
   equipped for every good work.

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.

Acclamation before the Gospel Heb 4:12



Gospel Lk 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 just decision for me against my adversary.’
For a long time the judge was unwilling, 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?”

Reflection Questions

How do you view "unanswered" prayer?

How does Scripture "equip you for every good work?"

How do you "pray always without becoming weary?"

Catena Nova

Do not be upset if you do not immediately receive what you asked God to give you. The Lord wants to give you greater things than you have even thought to pray for – to teach you to persevere in prayer. (Evagrius Ponticus)

Pray, even if you feel nothing, see nothing. For when you are dry, empty, sick or weak, at such a time is your prayer most pleasing to God, even though you may find little joy in it. This is true of all believing prayer. (Julian of Norwich)

Gently recall your mind when it wanders . . . unceasingly gather up again your scattered spirit. Turn your inward eye once more towards Him . . . persevere with an unconquered heart. (St. Teresa of Avila)

Never give up prayer, and should you find dryness and difficulty, persevere in it for this very reason: God often desires to see what  love your soul has, and love is not tried by ease and satisfaction. (St. John of the Cross)

Perseverance is the most desirable gift we can hope for in this life, and the one which…we cannot have but from the hand of God, who alone can assure him that stands, and help him up that falls.Therefore we must incessantly demand it, making use of the means which Our Savior has taught us to the obtaining of it: prayer, fasting, alms-deeds, frequenting the sacraments, intercourse with the good, the hearing and reading of holy words. (St. Francis de Sales)

In prayer one must hold fast and never let go, because the one who gives up loses all. If it seems that no one is listening to you, then cry out even louder. If you are driven out of one door, go back in by the other. (St. Jane Frances de Chantal)

Above all, as sanctity does not consist in being faithful for a day or a year but in persevering until death, we must use God as a shield which covers us completely because we are attacked from all sides. God must do everything. All the better; there will be no fear of failure. As for ourselves, we have only to acknowledge our power­lessness and to be fervent and constant in asking for help through the intercession of Mary, to whom God refuses nothing. (St. Claude de la Colombiere)

A soul should be faithful to prayer despite torments, dryness, and temptations; because oftentimes the realization of God’s great plans depends mainly on such prayer. If we do not persevere in such prayer, we frustrate what the Lord wanted to do through us or within us. Let every soul remember these words: ‘And being in anguish, He prayed longer.‘ (Lk 22:44) (St. Faustina Kowalska)

Does Jesus really think that God is like an unjust judge? Indeed not. But he knows how all of us are inclined to have an unjust judge well installed into our consciousness. In fact as part of our socialization we acquire a voice or set of voices which seem to be completely impervious to anything. This voice or voices, should we be so bold as to want something, will quickly send down little messages to us: “Shouldn’t want that if I were you — better not to want much, so as not to be disappointed,” or “Getting above our station are we?” or, as in the famous Oliver Twist scene, “More?!!” And the point of these messages is to shut down our desire — to get us to mask our discontent with remaining mere puppets of our group. Our unjust judge is internal to each one of us, a glowering “no” in the face of our potential happiness. Yet what Jesus recommends is a long-running, persistent refusal to have our smelly little desires put down. Instead we are to engage in a constant guerrilla warfare of desiring, so that eventually even the block in our head starts to yield, and what is right for us starts to become imaginable and obtainable. God is not like the judge, a hermetic block, he is like the irritating desire which gets stronger and stronger. It is only through our wanting something that God is able to give it to us. Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?

Curiously, at the end of this teaching Our Lord shows a certain ambivalence about us. Imagination and desire feed each other positively, and this is a vital element of faith: becoming able to imagine something good, and so to want it, and then as one wants it more, finding it more possible to imagine it more fully. Here he seems aware that despite what he is attempting to implode in our midst, we are frighteningly likely to be content with far too little, to go along with our internalized unjust judges, and so not to dare to imagine a goodness which could be ours, and thus not dare to want it, let alone become crazed single-minded athletes of system-shattering desire. He wonders whether we will really allow ourselves to be given heart. (James Alison)

Most of us instinctively identify with the widow who is trying to get justice. As widows, we expect that God’s granting of justice involves God strong-arming the unjust judges of the world until all of us widows get our rights. But that is not what happened with Jesus. Far from dismantling the unjust rule of the Romans, Jesus himself was condemned to death by the unjust judges among the Jewish leaders, the Roman governor, and the rest of us in the crowd. As the culmination of the persecuted prophets, Jesus reveals God to be the widow who is pleading with us, for justice. Jesus as the crucified widow who died at our hands, the unjust judges, is not what we were looking for when we thought of ourselves as widows. But that is what we got. Not only that, but we also got the resurrected widow who still pleads for justice without ceasing. As the resurrected widow, Jesus has offered us, the unjust judges, forgiveness and the offer to enter into the kingship of Jesus. The parable suggests that we enter as importunate widows who plead with forgiveness and love for the unjust judges as some of our greatest leaders have done, leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Desmond Tutu. But we also enter the kingship of Heaven as repentant unjust judges. In the parable, the Unjust Judge only relents because he is more miserable from being hassled by the widow than he is with any power he might lose by giving her justice. But at least the Unjust Judge finally does the right thing, even if his motives are as selfish as those of the Dishonest Steward in the earlier parable. (Lk. 16: 10–13) Maybe if we start to do the right thing, however grudgingly, we might find that doing the right thing, of granting justice to those weaker than we, isn’t so bad after all. Maybe giving justice can become a habit. (Abbot Andrew Marr)


      My widowed Italian grandmother was hard of hearing and she could never get hearing aids to work properly.  They often whistled and this embarrassed her.   For some reason, she was drawn to the TV evangelist Ernest Angley.  She watched his weekly broadcast from Akron, Ohio and saw the purported “miracles” he performed, including on deaf ears.  One time a local woman organized a bus trip to Angley’s church and my grandmother signed up to go.  When she got there, in the midst of hundreds of people, she was somehow selected to go onstage for a “healing.”  She told him what she was seeking and he did his usual placing of fingers in her ears  schtick with some invocation like, “Deafness demon, Out!”  And he sent her back to her seat.  When she got there, my grandmother realized she still could not hear — and so went back onstage!  She complained that the miracle didn’t happen to which Angley replied, “That’s because you don’t have enough faith.” Dejected and probably feeling quite unworthy, she returned home on the bus.

     Now my grandmother, Bridget Di Santo, a widow for 40 years, was the most faith-filled person I have ever known.  She prayed throughout the day, watched religious programming of all kinds, and attended daily Mass — walking to church well into her 80s.  For this charlatan to say something like that to her, as you can imagine, made my blood boil. But that is how well-intentioned, if naive, people are easily taken in by religious hucksters.   So if I had to answer Jesus’ query, When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth? (G),” I would say, “Yes, Lord, and I can tell you where — and where not.”

     Now someone who wasn’t in it for the money might instead have suggested to my grandmother what we prayed at the beginning of Mass: Almighty everliving God, grant that we may always conform our will to yours (Collect).  And who better to encourage us in that regard than the great Carmelite Doctor of the Church, St. Teresa of Avila, whose feast day we celebrated yesterday. The following “catena” is drawn from her writings and join the twin demands to pray without ceasing coupled with conformity to the will of God.

     Writing to her sisters Teresa reminds them,      

The highest perfection consists not in interior favors, or in great raptures, or in visions, or in the spirit of prophecy, but in the bringing of our wills so closely into conformity with the will of God that, as soon as we realize He wills anything, we desire it ourselves with all our might, and take the bitter with the sweet (Foundations, 5).

     Then in her famous description of the varieties of prayer,

The whole aim of any person who is beginning prayer—and don’t forget this, because it’s very important—should be that he work and prepare himself with determination and every possible effort to bring his will into conformity with God’s will. Be certain that … the greatest perfection attainable along the spiritual path lies in this conformity…. Don’t think that in what concerns perfection there is some mystery or things unknown or still to be understood, for in perfect conformity to God’s will lies all our good. (Interior Castle)

     And speaking from her own experience of resistance to God’s will before her conversion, Teresa notes in her autobiography,

In order that love be true and the friendship endure, the wills of the friends must be in accord. The will of the Lord, it is already known, cannot be at fault; our will is vicious, sensual, and ungrateful. And if you do not yet love Him as He loves you because you have not reached the degree of conformity with His will, you will endure this pain of spending a long while with one who is so different from you when you see how much it benefits you to possess His friendship and how much He loves you. (Autobiography)

     Finally, in her work on Christian perfection she offers the following prayer herself,

At this moment, O Lord, I freely consecrate my will to You without reserve…. Grant that Your will may always be fulfilled in me, in the way which is most pleasing to You. If You wish me to do this by means of trials, give me strength and let them come.  If by means of persecutions and sickness and dishonor and need, here I am, my Father, I shall not turn my face away (Way of Perfection, 32).

     Thus did St. Teresa pray without becoming weary (G) — indeed, she is known as the “Doctor of Prayer.”  And no doubt many a prayer went seemingly unanswered as she dealt with one trial after another, including debilitating illnesses, opposition to her reform  of the Carmelite order, harassment from the Spanish Inquisition and, well, just because she was a woman at a time when women were rarely taken seriously. 

     And stories of people like my grandmother also have their place in the chronicle of people who pray without tiring, even when God who seems not to be listening.   And while I cannot tell you why she suffered the loss of two children, her husband, her security, her hearing, and eventually her memory from dementia, I do know that she and St. Teresa -- in her favorite way of addressing God -- now enjoy a life together having both served 'his majesty' with sincerity of heart (Collect).


Intercessions (Sunday Web Site)

For the Church: that we may be persistent in prayer and attentive to God’s invitations to greater discipleship.

For a greater love of the Scriptures: that our hearts may desire to hear and learn God’s Word and be open to the insights it offers.

For all who have no voice or standing in society: that we may be aware of all who are forgotten by society and raise their needs and aspirations before others.

For all judges and attorneys: that God will guide their work so that justice may be served and the injured assisted.

For all who are growing weary in seeking justice and for all who are working to assist them: that the Holy Spirit will give them strength and help them to persevere.

For all who are caught in desperate situations, for refugees along the border of the United States, and for those struggling with addictions: that God will hear their cries, bring them to freedom and help them begin a new life.

For all who are recovering from natural disasters, especially Hurricane Ian: that God will strengthen them, renew their spirits and guide them in restoring their lives.

For peace, especially in Ukraine: that God will turn the hearts of world leaders from violence and help them to take bold steps to promote peace and provide for the safety of the innocent.

Lord, tireless guardian of your people,
always ready to hear the cries of your chosen ones,
teach us to rely, day and night, on your care.
Support our prayer lest we grow weary.
Impel us to seek your enduring justice
and your ever-present help.
Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen (ICEL; 1998)

Offertory Hymn


Confronted with destruction sure

In conflict dire with Amalek,

God’s servant climbed the h ill

There to survey his people’s trek;

And interceding without cease,

He pleaded with his people’s God.

The battle turned as sun went down,

The foeman beat into the sod.

Like unto this, a widow came

And justice sought from the wicked judge

Who neither God nor neighbor feared;

With ev’ry day, the little drudge

From woman’s brave and fearless chore

Of pleading, begging, wore him down.

To her was given justice due,

Although he did it with a frown.

Though time and circumstance combine,

Increasing each oppressive weight,

Our recompense from God will come

With justice sure, and not be late.

Be faithful, then, to what you’ve learned

By means of Scripture’s witness strong.

Preach now the Word—day in, day out—

“The Lord will come” must be our song!

Communion Antiphon


Closing Hymn

Lord, thy Word abideth,
and our footsteps guideth;
who its truth believeth
light and joy receiveth.

When our foes are near us,
then thy Word doth cheer us,
Word of consolation,
message of salvation.

When the storms are o'er us,
and dark clouds before us,
then its light directeth,
and our way protecteth.

Who can tell the pleasure,
who recount the treasure,
by thy Word imparted
to the simple-hearted?

Word of mercy, giving
succor to the living;
word of life, supplying
comfort to the dying!

O that we, discerning,
its most holy learning,
Lord, may love and fear thee,
evermore be near thee!