Oct. 16, Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
1) Exodus 17:8-13
2) 2 Timothy 3:14-4:2
Gospel: Luke 18:1-8
By Sharon K. Perkins
Catholic News Service
There’s a saying that I hear fairly frequently these days, especially in response to someone who is asked to take on a ministry or mission for which he or she feels unprepared: “God doesn’t call the equipped; he equips the called.”
In other words, we can usually expect to feel inadequate and assume that when God invites, the “yes” comes before the preparation. For most people this is a scary proposition.
Today’s readings give some insight into how God alleviates those fears that come with saying “yes” — and how he equips us to become fully engaged in the work he gives us to do — much like Joshua unhesitatingly engaging Amalek and his armies in battle.
First, we must always recognize that we’re not alone, but that “our help is from the Lord,” the very creator of heaven and earth. Lifting our eyes to him when we’re in trouble, or even long before we sense trouble, is an exercise of trust that becomes habitual with practice.
A sure way of becoming “equipped for every good work” is through the consistent learning and application of sacred Scripture. A surprisingly small percentage of Catholic adults are familiar with the Bible, and yet we have so many excellent resources at our disposal to help us overcome our ignorance that there’s really no excuse for remaining uninformed.
Scripture is inspired by the very breath of God so that we can trust it to form us toward competency.
Finally, the readings today emphasize the importance of persistence in proclaiming the word “whether it is convenient or inconvenient.” Tenacity in the face of difficulty and discouragement, grounded in the confidence that God always desires to sustain us, is simply what faith in action looks like. It’s what kept Joshua fighting Amalek all the way to a victory, and it’s what kept the persistent widow petitioning the judge until he delivered a decision on her behalf.
God is asking us to be his partners in the work of salvation. Are you willing to become equipped for his work?
Have you ever been asked to do something for which you have felt unprepared, even while knowing it was the right thing to do? How has knowledge of Scripture equipped you for being a disciple of Christ?