Cycle [C] 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 Ex. 17:8-13; 2 Tim. 3:14-4:2; Lk. 18:1-8

During today's First Reading from the Book of Exodus, we heard that Amalek went and fought with Israel at Rephidim. Moses sent Joshua to fight with the Amalek while he, accompanied by Aaron and Hur, stood on the top of the hill with the staff of God in his hand. As long as Moses kept his hands up, Israel was victorious. When he lowered his hands, Amalek was victorious. After a while, Moses was tired of keeping his hands up in the air. So Aaron and Hur put a stone under Moses so he could sit on it. Then they went on each of his sides, each one holding one of Moses' hands up until the sun set. Finally, Joshua defeated Amalek and his people.

Today's Second Reading from The Second Letter of Paul to Timothy also spoke of perseverance. St. Paul urged Timothy to continue in what he had learned and firmly believed.

Jesus' instructions in today's Reading from the Gospel of Luke teaches us to persevere in prayer and not to lose heart.

To persevere is to continuously try to attain your goal. Goals are certainly something we all strive towards at one point or another. The fact remains that during the course of our lives, we often face large and small challenges; the best way that we can overcome challenges is with perseverance. Perseverance is not a personality trait but it is a deliberate choice you make

Thomas Edison is the definition of perseverance. Considered unteachable at a young age the inventor went on to eventually create the electric light bulb. While most thought he “failed” he simply said he found over 1,000 ways to not build a light bulb.

One of the perseverance stories is the founder of KFC, Colonel Sanders. He didn’t start KFC until he was 60 years old after receiving his first social security check! 

That’s when most people are taught to hang it up, cross off the bucket list and fall asleep watching TV every day.

He worked from age 60 – 73 to master his technique and grow his business. This often came at the expense of sleeping in his car! It was hard work but he loved doing it — and people loved the food.

When he sold the company he earned $2 million and lived out the rest of life in comfort, not needing to depend on his social security check.

Ray Croc is another perseverance stories that show we can succeed at any time in our life.

The golden arches are also synonymous with one of the oldest, biggest, and most successful businesses in the world.

But without Ray Croc, Mcdonalds would have been a one location burger chain in San Bernardino.

Ray was a 50 plus-year-old struggling milkshake machine salesman who lived a comfortable life but craved more. He met the brothers behind McDonald’s and eventually convinced them of a franchise model to grow the brand. This led him to massive expansion, buying the land where all locations operate and grown into the Mcdonald’s we know today.

These perseverance stories show that human beings are capable of anything with perseverance, hard work, and belief in themselves.

Never give up, keep going, keep striving, and keep persisting. Perseverance is the secret of success. Without it, no great achievement is possible. Even if a person is not very talented, nor highly knowledgeable, but of an average merit, still he can succeed in life simply by his perseverance. Every action has its reaction. So hard labour has no alternative. It must yield results. The lofty monuments, the palaces, the cities, the buildings etc.-all were built only by long and hard labour. ‘Rome was not built in a day’. It took many years to build the beautiful city of Rome. It is through perseverance of thousands of diligent men that such magnificent structures can be erected:

A great example of perseverance is Glenn Cunningham. When he was seven years old, Glenn Cunningham's physicians told him that he would never walk again after suffering from severe leg burns from a gasoline explosion at his schoolhouse. His older brother Floyd died from his burns. Cunningham not only walked but was one of the premiere milers in the 1930s. The Morton County athlete also starred in the 1932 Olympics.

He attended the University of Kansas from 1930 to 1933, where he earned a bachelor's degree. He earned a master's degree in physical education from the University of Iowa in 1936, and a PhD from New York University in 1938.

For three years, from 1932 - 1934, he won the Big Six indoor titles and was again at the Olympics in 1936.  He was known as the "Kansas Ironman." Then on March 3, 1938, Cunningham became the world's fastest miler as he set a new record at Dartmouth College.

As we heard during the Gospel reading, because the poor widow kept returning to the unjust judge, bothering to the point that he could no longer tolerate her presence, she was granted justice against her opponent. If she had given up, she would have continued to suffer injustice at the hands of her opponent. Persevering through a tough circumstance can be daunting, but Jesus tells us to live one day at a time.

My dear friends, Jesus told this story for us that we might be encouraged. None of us is weaker than the widow. None of us is facing longer odds than she. But because of her persistence and faith, even the unjust judge gave her what was hers by right. We too will certainly get what we ask for.