October 16, 2016 — Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
You might say our message from today’s readings has everything to do with prayer. Could Jesus put it more clearly than He does at the beginning of the Gospel from Luke? “Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.”
We may recall that St. Paul told us we needed to “pray constantly.” Prayer should be at the very core of our faith lives, and it is the beginning point of living lives of stewardship. Jesus probably did not mean that we should always be on our knees with our eyes closed in prayer, but He did expect us to always be in what one might call the “spirit of prayer.” Paul refers to this in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 when he says, “Pray without ceasing.”
To be sure, prayer is not easy. We may, as the Lord says, sometimes “lose heart” in prayer, because it is difficult for us to perceive the answer or the response to our prayers. (The term “lose heart” is another translation of what was translated in the Gospel as “becoming weary.”) Too often we use prayer as a last resort instead of a first resource.
A healthy, consistent, and regular prayer life is in many ways the secret to a successful faith life. St. John Chrysostom said, “Prayer is the place of refuge for every worry, a foundation for cheerfulness, a source of constant happiness, and a protection against sadness.”