Reflection for October 16, 2022 — 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

October 27, 2022 | By Bishop Roy E. Campbell, Jr.

“God will secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him.”

Have you ever noticed toddlers who want to be picked up? They stand in front of you with their arms stretched up into the air. That is their way of saying “pick me up.” Toddlers will not put their arms down until they have been picked up. When we answer the “prayers” of their outstretched arms, they are satisfied.

In our reading from Exodus, if Moses kept his arms outstretched, Joshua got the better of the Amalekites in battle. Can you see a similarity between toddlers wanting to be picked up and Moses in the war between the Amalekites and Israel? His arms, stretched up into the air, showed Moses’ “prayer” to God, “Pick up your people Lord, and give them victory.”

Just as you or I would answer a toddler’s “prayer” of outstretched arms, by picking them up, so God answered Moses’ prayer. As long as Moses continued to “pray” to God with raised outstretched arms, the battle went in Joshua’s favor. When Moses stopped “praying” by lowering his arms, the battle went in Amalek’s favor. For Joshua to be victorious, Moses needed the help of Aaron and Hur to support his raised arms in prayer. God was telling Moses and the Israelites the same thing that Jesus told His disciples about prayer, never stop praying!

No prayer that we offer goes unheard. God is never out of His office; He is never on vacation. He wants us to constantly call on Him with our prayers. Unlike the crooked judge in today’s Gospel parable, who did not want to grant the woman a just judgment, God wants to grant us the fullness of life in Him. However, He will not do it without our cooperation. God will not force Himself on us.

God is searching for hearts that trust Him enough to ask Him unceasingly for everything we need. He always answers our prayers, even when the answer is “no.” God knows what we need and when we need it. Because God is our Father, all wise, all loving, and all powerful, there should be no limit to our confidence in Him. As Saint Luke tells us in today’s Gospel, we should “pray always without becoming weary.”

– Bishop Roy Campbell

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