Sunday October 20, 2019 (Mission Sunday) Reading, Reflection and Prayer of the Faithful

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Theme of the Sunday: It Is Difficult at Times to Hold on to One’s Faith! The first reading and the gospel show us two examples of people who pray, one without tiring and the other with determination. Both achieve their goals, salvation for the people of Israel (Moses) and justice (the widow). Only if we pray like them will we always be ready to accept the kingdom of God. The Lord generally delays, because his time is not ours, his ways are not our ways, his thoughts are not our thoughts. If we pray we will not lose hope and when the Lord comes to do justice, we will be found vigilant. In the second reading we hear Paul’s counsel to Timothy, “study the Holy Scriptures!” Constant contact with the word of God is the best prayer.

FIRST READING       
A reading from the Book of   Exodus (Exodus 17:5-13)
Whenever  Moses  held up his hand, Israel prevailed.

In those days: Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. And Moses said to Joshua, “Choose for us men, and go out, fight with Amalek; tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.” So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed; and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands grew weary; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat upon it, and Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; so his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua mowed down Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.
The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM      Psalm 121:1-2.3-4.5-6.7-8 (R. see 2)
R/. Our help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains;
from where shall come my help?
My help shall come from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth. R/.

He will keep your foot from stumbling.
Your guard will never slumber.
No, he sleeps not nor slumbers,
Israel’s guard. R/.

The Lord your guard, the Lord your shade
at your right hand.
By day the sun shall not smite you,
nor the moon in the night. R/.

The Lord will guard you from evil;
he will guard your soul.
The Lord will guard your going and coming,
both now and forever. R/.

SECOND READING  
A reading from the second Letter of Saint Paul to Timothy (2 Timothy 3 :14-4:2)
Let the man of God be complete, equipped for every good work.

Beloved: Continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the Sacred Writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching.
The word of the Lord.

ALLELUIA   Hebrews 4:12
Alleluia. The word of God is living and active, discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Alleluia.

GOSPEL
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 18: 1-8)
God will vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night.

At that time: Jesus told his disciples a parable, to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor regarded man; and there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Vindicate me against my adversary.’ For a while he refused; but afterwards he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will vindicate her, or she will wear me out by her continual coming.”’ And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will vindicate them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection
An important gesture at prayer is the raising of hands. The hand is that part of the body that we work with. It is used to receive things or show hospitality through a handshake. We normally pray, “Bless the work of our hands, O Lord.” We raise our hands to God when we desire to receive favours from him. When Moses’ hands are raised, God’s favour streams to the people of Israel. But when his hands are lowered, they begin to lose their battle until support comes. Our hands must be raised all the time, supported by a prayer of perseverance, so that God can pour his blessings on us. Prayer is effective when we cultivate perseverance. We should not grow weary in our prayer, lowering our hands. They must be raised in faith and total surrender. The widow raises her hands continually towards the unjust judge. We have to raise our hands continually and with determination towards our just and good judge.

PRAYER OF THE FAITHFUL
Celebrant: Jesus calls us to go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel. On this World Mission Sunday, we ask God’s blessing that, through our self – giving, the Good News of Jesus may be proclaimed to all nations and peoples:

  1. For our Holy Father, Pope Francis, and for all missionaries who give their lives to tell the glory of the Lord among the nations, that they may be loving, wise and holy witnesses of Christ our Saviour: let us pray to the Lord.
  2. For the leaders of nations, that they may be committed to justice for all peoples and dedicated to building a world of peace: let us pray to the Lord.
  3. For an increase in our own missionary spirit, so that as missionaries of the Eucharist, we may help the message and love of our Lord be made known to the ends of the earth: let us pray to the Lord.
  4. For our Country Nigeria still in the state of trouble and distress, that we may experience God’s Divine intervention and that Unity, harmony and just peace may return to our nation: let us pray to the Lord.
  5. For the victims of any form of abuse and for their families, that their dignity may be restored and their goodness affirmed through our loving care and support: let us pray to the Lord.
  6. For the deceased members of our families and community, that they may walk forever in the light of the Risen Christ: let us pray to the Lord.
  7. For the prayers we now make in the silence of our hearts:

Celebrant:
God our Father, you bless us with the gift of faith. Increase our faith as we answer the call to take part in the worldwide mission of Jesus. We ask this through your Son, Jesus Christ, Redeemer of the world, who lives

PRAYER FOR THE EXTRAORDINARY MISSION MONTH OCTOBER2019
Heavenly Father, when your only begotten Son Jesus Christ rose from
the dead, he commissioned his followers to “go and make disciples of
all nations” and you remind us that through our Baptism we are made
sharers in the mission of the Church.

Empower us by the gifts of the Holy Spirit to be courageous and
zealous in bearing witness to the Gospel, so that the mission entrusted
to the Church, which is still very far from completion, may find new
and efficacious expressions that bring life and light to the world.

Help us make it possible for all peoples to experience the saving love
and mercy of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity
of the Holy Spirit, One God, forever and ever.
Amen.

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