[COLUMN] A lesson on persistence

We’ve got to keep moving, trusting, and persisting amidst life’s difficulties and challenges. We’ve got to continue believing in the capacities and graces that God gives us, and we’ve got to fix our eyes on His promises for all who remain steadfast and faithful to him.

And when everything seems at odds with our desires, we’ve got to surrender ourselves to God’s will and allow him to take care of everything.

Our Scripture Readings this Sunday (October 16) speak about these lessons of life. In Exodus 17:18-13, we find Moses being challenged to keep persisting.

“As long  as Moses kept his hands raised up, Israel  had the better of the fight, but when he let his hands rest, Amalek had a better of the fight.”

Thank God Moses had Joshua and Hur to support him to keep holding his staff, God’s banner, against the enemies, making his hands steady till sunset and ultimately defeating Amalek and his people.

In our Second Reading from the Letter of Paul to Timothy, Paul urges Timothy to remain faithful to what he has learned and believed, standing firm in the faith that contrasts with the teachers who had wandered from authentic belief.

“Be persistent,” Paul advises Timothy, “whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching.”

The Gospel tells the parable on prayer in which a widow, symbolizing the disadvantaged, kept pleading for justice against his adversary before a judge who “neither fear God nor respect any human being.” Finally, due to her persistence, the judge answered her petition.

The moral of the story is clear: If a dishonest judge ultimately responds to a persistent widow, our faithful God will do no less for us, his children.

Faith, therefore, lies at the heart of these Scripture readings this Sunday.

As I shared with my parishioners last Sunday, October 9, the messages of the video presentation on the Called to Renew Campaign, faith is the most important treasure that we must pass on to our children. Indeed,

“We preserve what’s important. We keep what matters. We pass on what will endure. We renew what we treasure!”


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The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Asian Journal, its management, editorial board and staff.

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Fr. Rodel “Odey” Balagtas is the pastor of Incarnation Church in Glendale, California.


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