Lectionary Reflections: Twenty-Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time [c] October 20, 2013

Engaging Faith | Wed, Oct 16, 2013

By John Bucki, S.J.
Source: Center of Concern

Twenty-Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time [c]

Oct. 20, 2013


 Exodus 17:8-13

 2 Timothy 3:14--4:2

 Luke 18:1-8



Oct. 19: Feast of the North American Martyrs

Oct. 20: World Mission Sunday

Oct. 22; Feast of Blessed John Paul II

Oct. 24: United Nations Day

Oct. 26: International Red Cross organized In Geneva, Switzerland, in 1863



“Responsible action for resistance, correction, and healing are among the truest expressions of living faith.”

- Elizabeth Johnson CSJ, “She Who Is”


“The promotion of peace in the world is an integral part of the Church’s mission of continuing Christ’s work of redemption on earth.”

- Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, paragraph 516


“May the day come when international relationships will be characterized by respect and friendship, when mutual cooperation will be the hallmark of collaborative efforts, and when concerted effort for the betterment of all nations will be regarded as a duty by every nation.”

- Pope Paul VI, Populorum Progressio, March 26, 1967


“However complex and difficult situations may be, do not lose trust. In the human heart, the seed of hope must never die. Indeed, always be attentive to discovering and encouraging every positive sign of personal and social renewal. Be prepared to further the courageous building of justice and peace with every possible means.”

- Pope John Paul II, Nov. 19, 2000


“Saint Francis witnesses to respect for everyone, he testifies that each of us is called to protect our neighbor, that the human person is at the center of creation, at the place where God – our creator – willed that we should be. Not at the mercy of the idols we have created!” 

- Pope Francis, Oct. 4, 2013, Assisi, Italy


“Let us respect each human being. May there be an end to armed conflicts which cover the earth with blood; may the clash of arms be silenced; and everywhere may hatred yield to love, injury to pardon, and discord to unity. Let us listen to the cry of all those who are weeping, who are suffering and who are dying because of violence, terrorism or war, in the Holy Land, so dear to Saint Francis, in Syria, throughout the Middle East and everywhere in the world. 

- Pope Francis, Oct. 4, 2013, Assisi, Italy


Thoughts for your consideration

At the end of today’s gospel, Jesus wonders whether the Son of Man will find faith at the end of time. To put it in other words: 

  • Will people remain faithful to the spirit of God, the spirit of Jesus?  
  • Will human beings allow themselves to be transformed by the radical vision of Jesus?  
  • Will peace and justice prevail?  
  • Will our society care for those in need, like the widow?

Jesus proclaimed a radical message about God’s love for all of us. Jesus offered a radical invitation to love one another without condition – to love those who are different than ourselves, to love even our enemies. In a world with many examples of hatred, violence, war, and unnecessary death, Jesus appears with the radical call for us to love our enemies, to turn the other cheek, to trust in the way of peace, and to be especially concerned for those most in need.  

  • Can the followers of Jesus today be faithful to this call, or will the vision of active loving nonviolence get lost?
  • Can Christians today focus our faith on the needs of the poor, the immigrants, and those who are struggling in or world? 

In the Hebrew Scriptures, the response to Amalek’s attack on Israel was to wage war trusting in the power of God to bring victory.  

  • Do we have the same trust in the power of God to bring us victory through the active nonviolent love that Jesus proposes?  
  • Can we “keep our arms outstretched” and believe in the victory of Jesus or will we lose faith and instead trust in our weapons or in military and economic power? 
  • Can our faith today help us to work together as a community for the good of the world?

In the second reading we are told to “remain faithful to what we have learned and believed.” We are to “be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching.”  

  • Is this possible with God’s grace?
  • As we work for justice, do we have the persistence and vision of the widow in the gospel story?


Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group

What does the Christian vision of active nonviolence say to you in light of war and terrorism? Do you believe it should be our response?  Is this practical and realistic? Can you share that belief with others?


Our faith in the vision of Jesus can grow weak in light of all the problems and contradictions of our world. As we work for justice, when have you experienced the persistence and vision of the widow in the gospel story?



“All human beings are about equally good or bad,” said the Master, who hated to use those labels.

"How can you put a saint on an equal footing with a sinner?" protested a disciple.

"Because everyone is the same distance from the sun. Does it really lessen the distance if you live on top of a skyscraper?"


Actions - Links

Catholic Bishops in Colorado issue letter on immigration.

Titled “Immigration and Our Nation’s Future,” the letter outlines seven moral principles, based on Catholic social teaching, which put the human person at the center of any discussion of immigration.


The Message of Pope Francis for World Mission Sunday


Urge Secretary of State John Kerry to Prioritize Reducing Violence Against Women and Girls


“Crazy Facts” 

Check out six myths about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program at


October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and – while reducing violence against women and girls should always be top of mind – it is especially important this month to consider the prevalence, consequences, and solutions to gender-based violence.  Get facts at 


Prayers of Intercession

Response:  Lord, help us on the journey to justice and peace.

For the persistence and steadfastness to keep on doing what is right, we pray….

For a renewal of our commitment to the human rights of all people, we pray….

For the courage to speak up against war and injustice, we pray….

For blessings on all our work to serve and empower those who are poor and in need, we pray….

For an end to the wars in Syria, Afghanistan and neighboring nations, we pray….

For a spirituality and prayer life that will help us put faith into action, we pray….



Oh Great Spirit,

I pray for myself in order that I may be healed. 

Oh Great Spirit, 

I pray for my close friend who is sick and needs help.

Oh Great Spirit, 

I pray for this world so that all these atomic weapons

And other bad things that we point at each other 

Will someday soon all be destroyed.

I pray that adversaries will communicate

And all of the mistrust will be healed.

Oh, Great Spirit, 

I pray for its cleansing 

And the renewal of our Mother Earth.


A Native American Prayer from Ed McGaa, Eagle Man, found at:



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