Twenty-Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle C

Our readings for Sunday are here

These are the poems, my notes, and interpretations of Fr Dennis’ homilies from the Masses of

  • October 16, 2016 10AM
  • October 20, 2013 8:30AM


The poems Fr Dennis references this year are:

In 2016, we reflected on —

  • In the first reading, Moses as intercessor for Israel’s survival and triumph
    • Moses needed help and God did respond, and it resulted in real action.  Moses went to the mountain top, closest to God (as God was seen as heaven above).
    • His staff is raised, almost reminding us of a human lightning rod through which God’s action will pass, and image that he is conducting God’s power to Earth.
    • Moses gets tired
      • he needs to sit, so they bring him a rock (now his knees are bent)
      • his arms grow tired, so Aaron & Hur hold up his arms
      • Moses has gradually taken on the posture of the Crucifixion, foreshadowing Jesus’ crucifixion.  Jesus as the new Moses (think of the Transfiguration).
      • This is a clear powerful image that all of us need help.
  • In the second reading, from Paul to Timothy
    • rl’s notes are far more colloquial than Fr Dennis would have said, but the gist is: s’okay if some of the older folks disagree with you, you gots da Spirit ==> so carry on and preach the gospel “in season and out”
  • In the Gospel (Luke 18:1-8),
    • It was normal for judges to have their palms greased
    • The widow has no money at all, let alone for palm-greasing, so she has to convince a judge, who “neither feared God nor respected any human being,” on the merits for a “just judgment”
    • He gives her a righteous/just judgment … but he is still an unjust judge!  🙂
    • God will save us so much more quickly than the judge.  There are different aspects of truth.
    • In the final line, “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” D2 can imagine a somewhat discouraged Jesus.
    • Faith is/as a personal response, sometimes it feels like “Is this worth it?”
  • In Berry’s poem VII, he writes how the smallest works allow God to return in us, be pleased, and rest.
  • In Adcock’s poem, kindness is a vital part of our lives and to survival.

In 2013, we reflected that —

  • The decisive question in the Sunday readings is not whether God will vindicate his persecuted community (after/during his absence); the real question is whether Jesus’ disciples will remain faithful in his long absence — “will he find faith on earth?”, i.e., will they persist in prayer?
  • Parables are never simple allegories, e.g., we are the widow, so & so is the dishonest judge.  Parables are supposed to be complex and multi-layered, open to multiple viewings.  🙂  That’s why it’s called the Living Word.  🙂
  • This persistence in prayer — what is it?
    • staying with it, even in the dry spells; repetition or habit
    • rootedness in the earth and reaching for the stars & heaven (traditionally, going to the mountain is symbolic for meeting God or being close to God)
  • In the first reading, Moses
    • goes to the mountain to do his part — pray! –with Aaron and Hur
    • raises his arms with the staff of God (which handily doubles as a walking stick), and he gets tired
    • but Aaron & Hur, like our church community helps us to pray by helping make each other and the body whole, help Moses persist in prayer
    • our friends can help us persist in prayer like Aaron & Hur, holding up Moses’ arms in wide-open supplication … like Jesus on the cross, the ultimate intercessor
  • In Great Trees by Wendell Berry, we hear of rooted earth ready for life, creating life of leaves from earth, air, light, and water — so we can receive light and share it with others.

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