November 14, 2020 – 32nd Week in Ordinary Time

“Remaining firm and perseverant in our prayer life and becoming a people who reach out in justice and give comfort and consolation to the needy!”

(Based on 3 Jn 5-8 and Lk 18:1-8 – Saturday of the 32nd Week in Ordinary Time)

An interesting incident is mentioned in the life of Jan Paderewski

He was a famous Polish pianist and a pioneer of the solo recital at music concerts.

It is said that when Paderewski was to leave his native Poland to play his first recital in London…
… he asked an influential compatriot to give him a letter of introduction, to a leading figure in Britain’s musical world

This was for any assistance, should anything go amiss.

The letter was handed to him in a sealed envelope.

Paderewski hoped that everything would proceed smoothly and he would not have to use the letter.

Well…
… he did not have to use the letter.

His debut was a great success and he soon began to climb the ladder of success.

Some years later, while going through his papers, he came upon the ‘letter of introduction’ and opened it.

He was surprised to read the content:
“This will introduce Jan Paderewski, who plays the piano, for which he demonstrates no conspicuous (visible/noticeable) talent.”

Life… is often such!

Discouragements lure everywhere
Rejections prowl all around

Do we get bogged down by such discouragements and rejections?

Are we people who bring about discouragement and rejection to people?

The Gospel of the Day is the Parable of the Persistent Widow.

The Parable speaks of a judge and a widow.

The judge is characterized by some features:

He did not fear God.
He did not fear humans.
He was initially adamant in his refusal.

The Widow is characterized by some features:

She had a genuine need.
She was denied justice.
She remained persistent till the end.

We are often in many and true needs.

But we do sometimes find ourselves, a bit depressed at the delays in receiving the answers to our prayers.

The parable encourages and exhorts us to remain persistent in our prayer life and not to get discouraged by God’s delays, which apparently appears as God’s denials.

Yes, God’s delays are certainly not His denials!
God’s pauses are certainly not His refuses!

At the same time, this parable invites us to switch roles:

To see ourselves as the Judge…
… and God as the Widow.

Widows in the first century found themselves at a very sad state.

They were quite literally unprotected. Many became homeless and destitute after the death of their husbands.

Often they were at mercy of cunning men, including some religious leaders who would “devour widows houses” (Mark 12:40)

A widow couldn’t count on anyone to come to her aid.

She represents the hopeless….the unaided…the oppressed.

In Mt 25:35, Jesus identifies Himself with the one who was hungry, thirsty, naked, stranger and the imprisoned.

Jesus in the poor, the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the stranger and the imprisoned…
… is the hopeless one …the unaided one …the oppressed one.

Jesus, like the widow in the Parable…comes knocking at our door:
Behold I stand at the door, and knock… (Rev 3:20)

As the oppressed and justice-deprived Widow, Jesus, knocks at our door – we, the judges.

What is our reaction and response to the voice of the needy and the helpless?

The cry of the one in pain and suffering reaches our hears…

Do I reach out my heart to them and seek to ease their troubles and hardships?

The moaning of a broken family or a lost teenager or a spoilt child comes to us…

Do I pray for them and help them, in ways possible for me?

The sad tear of the abused or oppressed people with whom we work is seen by us…

Do I get out of my comfort-shell to make them feel comforted and consoled?

The disturbing reports of violence, corruption, injustice in society falls on our senses…

Do I remain indifferent to them and become saturated with such atrocities?

Yes…the widow – the hopeless, the unaided and the oppressed one… keeps knocking at our doors…

As a Judge…
… do I keep refusing?
… do I keep getting irritated?
… do I feel life as a botheration?

Life often has discouragements luring everywhere and rejections prowling all around

Do we get bogged down by such discouragements and rejections?

Are we people who bring about discouragement and rejection to people?

The Parable of the Persistent Widow is certainly a big lesson to remain firm and perseverant in our prayer life.

And when looked from another perspective is also a big challenge to become a people who reach out in justice and give comfort and consolation to the needy.

Knock….knock…

Do we hear the knock, seeking for help?

Let us seek the intercession of St Gertrude the Great – the great “Nuptial Mystic” (seeing herself as the bride of Christ) – on her feast day.

In a vision on the feast of John the Evangelist, as she rested her head near Jesus’ wound on His side, and hearing the beating of His heart, she asked St. John, “Why is it, O beloved of God, that you who rested on His bosom at the Last Supper have said nothing of what you experienced then?”
St John told her “It was my task to present to the first age of the Church the doctrine of the Word made flesh which no human intellect can ever fully comprehend. The eloquence of that sweet beating of His Heart is reserved for the last age…
… in order that the world grown cold and torpid may be set on fire with the love of God!”

Let us be inspired by her life and in this month of November – dedicated specially for praying for the Faithful Departed – join with St Gertrude in praying:
“Eternal Father, I offer You the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus Christ, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, those in the Universal Church, in my home, and in my family!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “What we need is a cup of understanding, a barrel of love, and an ocean of patience!”

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