29th Sunday Ordinary Time
October 20, 2019
Inasmuch as Saint John Henry Newman was proclaimed a universal saint in the church last Sunday, I feel it appropriate to rerun his most famous quote (below), Despite all his many successes, we see that he had within him a certain quality of vulnerability, as do we all, that united him to the Lord. Perhaps if his little prayer helps you, you might also ask for his prayers for your life.
God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission. I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good; I shall do His work. I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it if I do but keep His commandments. Therefore, I will trust Him, whatever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him, in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him. If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. He does nothing in vain. He knows what He is about. He may take away my friends. He may throw me among strangers. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me. Still, He knows what He is about.
Cardinal Saint John Henry Newman
Lead Kindly Light
Lead, Kindly Light, amidst the encircling gloom, Lead Thou me on! The night is dark, and I am far from home, Lead Thou me on! Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see The distant scene; one step enough for me.
I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou Should lead me on; I loved to choose and see my path; but now Lead Thou me on! I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears, Pride ruled my will. Remember not past years!
So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still Will lead me on. O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till The night is gone, And with the morn those angel faces smile, Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile!
Cardinal Saint John Henry Newman
The Lord is our guardian, beside us at our right hand, interceding for us in all our spiritual battles.
In todays Psalm were told to lift our eyes to the mountains, that our help will come from Mount Zion and the Templethe dwelling of the Lord who made heaven and earth.
Joshua and the Israelites, in todays First Reading, are also told to look to the hilltops. They are to find their help therethrough the intercession of Mosesas they defend themselves against their mortal foes, the Amalekites.
Notice the image: Aaron and Hur standing on each side of Moses, holding his weary arms so that he can raise the staff of God above his head. Moses is being shown here as a figure of Jesus, who also climbed a hilltop, and on Mount Calvary stretched out His hands between heaven and earth to intercede for us against the final enemysin and death (see 1 Corinthians 15:26).
By the staff of God, Moses bested Israels enemies (see Exodus 7:812; 8:12), parted the Red Sea (see Exodus 14:16) and brought water from the Rock (see Exodus 17:6).
The Cross of Jesus is the new staff of God, bringing about a new liberation from sin, bringing forth living waters from the body of Christ, the new Temple of God (see John 2:1921; 7:3739; 19:34; 1 Corinthians 10:4).
Like the Israelites and the widow in todays Gospel, we face opposition and injusticeat times from godless and pitiless adversaries.
We, too, must lift our eyes to the mountainsto Calvary and the God who will guard us from all evil.
We must pray always and not be wearied by our trials, Jesus tells us today. As Paul exhorts in todays Epistle, we need to remain faithful, to turn to the inspired Scripturesgiven by God to train us in righteousness.
We must persist, so that when the Son of Man comes again in kingly power, He will indeed find faith on earth.