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Twenty Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)

God will see justice done to his chosen who cry to him.

The Word This Week

Perhaps the hardest Olympic event is the marathon: not only does it demand strength and fitness, but it calls for immense perseverance and endurance. Life in general and the Christian life in particular, is a marathon. We will face hills and mountains as well as valleys and gentle slopes in life: we will face obstacles and pressures which will make us want to say, as the prophet Elijah did, “Lord, it is enough!” Especially in our lifetime of prayer, there will be times when we say “Lord, I can go no further.” Jesus himself understands the need for perseverance in prayer, and the temptation to lose heart, which is why he offers us this parable and teaching today. And remember the thought from the first reading: sometimes we may need to hold each other in our praying!

Notes for Readers

First Reading: Exodus 17:8-13

This reading may seem rather strange unless you have looked at today’s Gospel! The point is that Moses’ physical perseverance is a symbol of his spiritual perseverance. In one sense this is a very easy reading – it is a story, with a beginning, middle and end. However, the reader must remember that the setting of the story will be unfamiliar to many people in the congregation, and you will have to help them along. Look at the reading and identify unfamiliar words and concepts – try to imagine Moses, Aaron and Hur looking down on a battlefield with the Israelite and Amalekite armies facing each other, the battle flowing one way, then another, as Moses’ arms rise and fall. Don’t let the pronunciation of the names put you off – the story is more important!


Second Reading: 2 Timothy 3:14 – 4:2

A good reading for the reader to reflect on! “All scripture is inspired by God and can profitably be used for teaching, for refuting error, for guiding people’s lives and teaching them to be holy.” Keep these words with you as you read week by week! We are continuing Saint Paul’s advice to Timothy – this week he offers him two thoughts: remember the importance of the Scriptures and proclaim the message firmly but patiently. We are told that to be a Christian is to be a missionary – we cannot believe without sharing that faith and bringing others to it: this reading is good advice on how to do that. Offer Saint Paul’s words to your congregation carefully and gently – give them time to think about what you read! The last paragraph is particularly important: perhaps the way to read these words is the way Saint Paul describes Timothy’s duty: read with insistence, but with “patience and with the intention of teaching.”


Click on the link to get this week's Gospel based Wordsearch. Feel free to copy and paste it into your parish publications.