Homily, Thursday 27th Week in the Ordinary Time, Year B, Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary(07/10/2021)

Spiritual Persistence/ Perseverance in God

Malachi 3:13-20

Psalm 1:1-4,6

Luke 11:5-13

Today’s readings show what normally happens in our spiritual and physical life, in asking something from God in prayer and how we ought to go about it.

In the first reading Malachi 3:13-20, the good and righteous people are giving up their hope and trust in God amidst life’s struggles; the righteous see the evil ones having their way out and rejoicing in it, prospering while they themselves languish.

To a point their hopelessness amounted to words like: It is useless to serve God; what is the good of keeping his commands or of walking mournfully before the Lord of Hosts?

So it shows, they have prayed and done what they ought to have done but all to no avail.

However, at the moment of loosing hope, God acted upon their case, thus: “On the day which I am preparing, says the Lord of Hosts, they are going to be my own special possession. I will make allowances for them as a man makes allowances for the son who obeys him.”

In the Gospel reading Luke 11:5-13, Jesus was explicit about this spiritual persistence in prayer with the story of a man asking something from his friend in the middle of the night.

However, what’s striking is that Jesus said,” I tell you, if the man does not get up and give it him for friendship’s sake, persistence will be enough to make him get up and give his friend all he wants.”

For emphasis, Jesus used three imperative words to demonstrate this same thing about persistence in prayer: “ask,” “search”, “knock,” and they all ended in affirmatives: will receive, will find, will be opened.

Even more seriously Jesus used the analogy of the relationship between the worldly fatherhood and sonship to say that God shall give those who persist what they ask for.

Child of God, in all these the Psalmist even says that “happy is the man who placed his trust in the Lord.”

The memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary we are celebrating today points to the same fact. The Feast was instituted by Pope Pius V to celebrate the anniversary of the defeat of the Turkish fleet at the battle of Lepanto on the first Sunday in October 1571. It was indeed a battle won with persistence in praying the rosary; in prayer.

If Jesus Himself being God, the way, the truth and the life commands us to perseverance in prayer by even saying that the Father shall give the holy spirit to those who ask Him, then it’s an assurance of the hand of God in our lives if we are to persevere in prayer amidst all odds.

Child of God, PUSH. Pray Until Something Happens.

But only those who don’t loose hope and trust in God shall see it happening.

©Fr. Henry Charles N. Umelechi

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