On Friday afternoon, I arrived in Tacoma for this year’s celebration of the Cornerstone Catholic Conference. I’m told we had around 700 participants this year from around the state of Washington.
The primary goal of Cornerstone is to provide an opportunity for our people to grow in faith, and in particular, to help them see that Jesus Christ is the Cornerstone of everything. In Jesus Christ, as the Cornerstone, we find our proper orientation to one another, and all our Catholic teaching regarding the human person finds an intimate connection.
Our teaching about the human person and human life are intimately and deeply rooted in the person of Jesus, and the life that he creates and redeemed.
Most of the issues we face in our time must be properly grounded in the biblical truth that all life comes from God. The order of nature is founded upon God’s love and fruitfulness. The order of grace by which we are redeemed flows from the One and Same Living God, through the person of Jesus Christ, and the grace and power of the Holy Spirit. (Living in the Image and Likeness of God, A Pastoral Letter from the Catholic Bishops of Alaska – 2018)
Our three keynote speakers gave wonderful, faith-filled presentations drawing upon our Catholic teaching and their personal and pastoral experience. Many thanks, to Bishop Frank J. Caggiano, Bishop of Bridgeport, Sr. Norma Pimentel, MJ, and Sr. Miriam James Heidland, SOLT for sharing your time and witness with us!
This morning, after spending the night in Tacoma, and a good amount of time in prayer, I made my way to Lacey, for a wonderful parish visit to Sacred Heart. Today they celebrated their annual International Tasting Event (Lunch). The parish is blessed with many ethnic groups, and Oh! What a faith-filled community!
Now, a few words about today’s readings. (Ex 17: 8-13, Ps 121, 2 Timothy 3:14-4:2, Luke 18:1-8)
The key is found in the Psalm: “Our help is from the Lord”. How well we know!
Why did Moses need to keep his arms raised and hands extended for Joshua to succeed in defeating the Amalek? Surely God could have provided his aid to the army of Israel whether Moses was in this posture of prayer or not? BUT, God wanted Moses, and Joshua, and the People of Israel to know without a doubt that “their help is from the LORD.” He wants us to know the same!
The key in the words of Luke as he points to the reason of Jesus’ parable of the unjust judge and the widow, when he said:
“Jesus told a his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.” My own heart was drawn to the words “without becoming weary.”
The readings reveal once again that we are created for communion with God.
We are created to be in communication with God.
Thus, we are to pray unceasingly! indeed, without becoming weary.
In the parable, Jesus asks: “Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily.”
BUT, how often have we prayed unceasingly, and felt that our prayer was unanswered? How often have we felt in the face of the challenges of our world and Church today that God seems to be sleeping? or is not providing the aid that we prayerfully request?
Be very careful with such thoughts, as real as they are. Indeed, God is right in the midst of all of this with us! God likes to ‘take us to the brink’ in life, for it is precisely ‘there’ that we learn that “Our help is from the LORD.” It is precisely there that we our faith is tested – and grown. For this is how Jesus concludes the parable today: “But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
My friends, I believe that many of our Catholic faith have grown ‘weary.’ Will you join me in praying that the LORD renew our faith, especially those who have grown weary of heart?
Indeed, “Our help is from the LORD.” Pray unceasingly. Pray with profound faith. Pray without growing weary.