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常年期第29主日 Homily 29th Sunday OT C October 16, 2022

 

HOMILY Twenty-Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year C, October 16th, 2022

By Franklin Fong, OFM

 

In this weekend’s readings we can readily recognize that it is about three perspectives to our prayer life.

In the first reading from Exodus, we hear of how we have to persist even if we are tired or older. Moses’ arms were so tired that his two friends Aaron and Hur each held up one of his arms so that Moses could continue to pray for the success of Israel against attackers.

Then in the second reading from St Paul’s letter to Timothy, his young protégé, that all prayers and teachings must be always connected and rooted in the sacred scriptures. And St Paul brings up the final point again to be persistent even when it is inconvenient.  

Finally in the Gospel according to Luke we hear of how the widow has to repeatedly make public petitions to the judge to make her case. What is not explained in the specific text is that in the middle eastern culture, women did not have a voice. That traditionally and culturally the men in their family would have spoken for women. So a widow, means in Hebrew “the silent one” “the one who cannot speak”. The widow’s petition was publicly made; for all his bluster and denial, the judge respected public opinion. It was group pressure that made the judge cave in.  

There was persistence and perseverance on the widow’s part - but that petition was made in public courtroom - and it was the group’s common petition which made the difference in convincing the corrupt judge in making a decision.  

So what is the take home message for us from this grouping of readings? The first reading encourages us to defy fatigue and to be persistent to finish our mission. The second reading encourages us to remain faithful and persistent to the Christian teachings. The gospel reading encourages to pray persistently!

So you can now see that that the main theme is clearly about prayer.

  • We need to pray even if we are tired !
  • We need to pray based on sacred scripture!
  • We need to pray in community as well as individually!
  • We need to be persistent in whatever situation!

Here is something that Pope Francis said in 2013:

God invites us to pray with insistence, not because he doesn’t know what we need, or because he doesn’t listen to us. On the contrary, God always hears and knows all of us, with love. In our daily journey, especially in difficulties, in the fight against evil outside of ourselves and within us, the Lord is not far away, he is at our side; 

About 20 years ago I wrote this poem that I have never shared publicly until now.

 

Travelers  

I travelled the yellow brick road –

Always carefully staying within the bricks;

Never straying more than a millimeter.

 

I travelled the yellow brick road –

Always watching for signs at every turn.;

Moving so deliberately to stay on track.

 

I travelled the yellow brick road –

Always hoarding every day, hour, minute, and second;

Never to share the moment,

 

I travelled the yellow brick road –

Step by step - Looking always at my feet;

Never sharing a thought or fear.

 

I travelled the yellow brick road –

Til you extended your heart and spirit;

Til you taught me

To touch the rainbow,

To feel the rose from afar,

To smell the water, and

To love my Brothers and Sisters.

So you can see that our life is about walking on many different brick roads and learning different life skills along the way! The most challenging part may be to learning to pray and extending our hearts and spirit as thanksgiving to a loving God!

 

So, reflect on your lives, how have you created a habit of prayer? How is it a habit?   

What can you do to take this habit, and take it to the next step?

How have you prayed with others - ?

How do you do this as a habit?    

Again how can you take this to the next step?

Think about it, was there a yellow brick road that you have walked thru these decades.  

What were these yellow bricks made of for you at different times in your life?

What is the yellow brick made of today in your life?

 

Now you can see and appreciate how persistence, prayer, and a faith community are each important perspectives to have on our journey of life on this earth - All of this is to prepare us for that great leap of faith as walk the yellow brick road to St Peter’s gate !  

So brothers and sisters of the Chinese Catholic Community that is the Good News for the 29th Sunday of Ordinary Time!       

 ALLELUIUA ALLELUIA!

 

Fr. Fong

 


 

(中文翻譯.原文以英文為準.)

 

常年期第二十九主日(丙年)
2022 年 10 月 16日

這主日讀經與福音是關於祈禱生活的三個觀點:
第一篇「出谷紀」講述以色列遭到襲擊,當時梅瑟實在太累,不能抬起雙臂祈禱
,但站在他身旁的兩個朋友亞朗和胡爾各自舉起梅瑟手臂,好讓他能繼續為以色
列祈禱。這篇的意思是無論情況怎樣,都必須要有堅忍的態度,即使我們已年事
已高或有多疲累。
第二篇「聖保祿致第茂德後書」講述聖保祿提醒年輕門徒第茂德,所有的祈禱和
教義必須聯繫在一起並植根於聖言。聖保祿更提出無論順境逆境,也要百般忍耐
,堅持不懈。
最後一篇是「路加福音」講述一位寡婦如何向貪官申冤。根據當時中東文化,這
位寡婦並沒有發言權,但她卻憑着毅力,果敢地要求公開審判;儘管法官極力否
認其申訴,但最後他也要尊重公眾觀點,還婦人一個公道。這故事說明做重要決
定時,毅力和羣眾壓力都能發揮重要作用。
以上經文有何意義呢?第一篇是關於克服一切困難如疲累,完成使命。第二篇提
及忠於基督教教義及持守它。福音鼓勵我們恆久祈禱!
由此可見,第二十九主日的經文主題是關於祈禱:
1. 即使疲累,也要祈禱!
2. 要根據聖經祈禱!
3. 獨自祈禱,也要團體祈禱
4. 任何情況下,也要堅持不懈!

2013年,教宗方濟各這樣説:"全能天主,怎會不知道我們需要什麼呢?日常生
活有數不盡的試煉,我們無時無刻與外在環境和內心邪惡爭戰。因此祂邀請我們
我們恆常禱告。禱告,使我們感受到上主的慈愛,就在不遠處,祂總在身邊,傾
聽和了解我們的需要。"
大約20年前,我寫了一首我從未公開分享過的詩。這首詩以「旅行者」為題,詩
的大意是我是個旅行者,心無旁騖地走在黃磚路上,這個旅程豐盛了我的靈:見
自己,見衆生,見天地。 (欲觀原文,請參照上方英文講道)
其實,我們的生活就是走在許多不同的黃磚路,過程中學習不同的技能,而最具
挑戰的技能就是學習祈禱。祈禱能使靈性成長,那便是感謝上主慈愛的回應。

在這裡,我們就做點生活反思:
o 如何養成祈禱習慣?這是個怎樣的習慣?
o 做些什麼可把這個習慣帶到下一步?
o 如何與其他人一起祈禱?
o 如何養成這習慣?
o 又怎麼把它帶到下一步?

再想一想:
這幾十年,有沒有你走過的黃磚路?
這些黃磚,怎樣為你做出不同時期的生命?
今天生活,你的黃磚是什麼呢?
寄居塵世,你們該懂得欣賞堅持、祈禱和信仰團體的意義。這一切準備,正好幫
助我們飛躍到天國的黃磚路!
兄弟姐妹們,這就是常年期第29個主日的喜訊!

亞肋路亞!亞肋路亞!

 

 

 

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