Missionary Weekly Reflection
Twenty Nineth Sunday of Ordinary Time, 20 October 2019
WORLD MISSION SUNDAY
Ex. 17:8-13; Ps. 121:1- 2,3-4,5-6,7-8; 2Tim. 3:14 – 4:2; Luk. 18:1-8
Judge vs widow: unequal duel! At least that is the first impression. Moreover, the Judge was introduced as someone who “did not fear of God nor respect human”, while “fear of God” is the beginning of wisdom (Ps. 111:10). On the other hand, “no fear of God” is always related to injustice (Lev. 25:17, 36, 43). As like God, a judge is ideally “equal to the case of the poor, and the prayer of injustice reaches to God. He does not neglect the petition of the orphans and lament of the widows.” (Sir. 35:16-17). But de facto, both in old testaments (cf. Amos 2:6-7, 5:10-13) and new testaments, crime and corruption of the judges are well known.
Widow is the symbol of the weak. Her position is vulnerable in the male dominant society. The absence of a husband means losing a defender and supporter. It also looks like that no child will fight for her destiny. She struggles on her own. The old testament demanded protection on the widows, orphans and strangers (Ex. 22:22; Deu. 10:14-19). However, does a tyrannical and careless judge care for the law order? At this point a surprise emerged. The widow was not a silent person who just accepted her destiny. She did not want to bribe to win her case as well. She, who was the victim of men, government and authority, in fact showed up persistently and mightily. She, who normally kept silent, appeared without hesitation and repeatedly shout out for her rights. She challenged the tyranny and arbitrary. Her presence disturbed the comfort of the authority. This story from Jesus reversed the stereotype of a widow as the weak and silent. That is the first message: Jesus invites all of us to get into a new perspective; a new way to see the Lord, world, human and ourselves. His Church must be a place for the “the victims” to bravely present and speak out to struggle for their rights and justice. The presence of His followers must “disturb” the habit and lifestyle of any tyranny, corruption and arbitrary!
Second, the God we believe in is really reliable. If the wicked judge finally granted the widow’s request, our good Father will definitely justify His people. He will truly fight for and defend us. Even though in our life the Lord seems to be delaying, but He will definitely come to save His people. The truth will win, His protection will come!
Third, the widow’s perseverance is an example of continuous prayer: always asking for the Lord’s defense (v. 1). Prayer should be frequent and constant, as done by Jesus (Luk. 3:21, etc) and the early church (Acts 1:14, etc). Our prayer is not for changing God’s heart. His heart never changes: we are and will always be His “chosen!” (v. 6). Prayer is a means to express and maintain our faith to the Lord and the Son of Man (v. 8b). Prayer is our heart expression and identity as believers, who entirely rely on Him, our only Judge and Defender.
(Hortensio Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society, Jakarta)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:
For Evangelization intention:
Harvesting season for mission work in the Church: May the breath of Holy Spirit seed and nourish the Church with the sprouting of effort and work for the new mission. We pray…
For Indonesian Churches intention:
Churches at the villages: Along with less young people who are willing to stay in the villages, may the local churches find the programs that can direct the youth to love and develop their own village. We pray…
May the people in our Diocese support the nationalism of our youth, so they can continue their role in working together with other young fellowship to build fraternity wisely. We pray…