November 18, 2023
by Cindy Costanzo
Creighton University's College of Nursing
click here for photo and information about the writer

Saturday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 496

Wis 18:14-16; 19:6-9
Psalms 105:2-3, 36-37, 42-43
Luke 18:1-8
Praying Ordinary Time Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

In Luke’s gospel this week the focus is on prayer and the parable portrays the widow as persistent, she did not give up and ultimately justice was served. Prayer, voicing injustices and continual faith are key areas for reflection with this week’s gospel.  Prayer is the heart of hope; it is a sign of belief; it is a sign of God’s fidelity and generosity. I stand on the shoulders of generations of faithful family, friends, and mentors who assisted me in finding Jesus, believing in God, and deepening my prayer life.

I can be so individualistic, unaware, absorbed, and independent and try to resolve or forge ahead on my own. Knowing my tendency for this individualistic, self-absorbed behavior I work hard at acknowledging this tendency and intervening.

Interventions are as follows: Regular attendance at choice of community worship.  Intentional specific devotion/prayer time in early morning. Having a bible and a favorite reading material by Joyce Rupp, Joan Chittister readily available. While driving I listen to Christian music, podcasts, or audible books that deepen my understanding of God. I value time with prayer groups, retreats, and bible study. I realize that God cares about everything and is everywhere. So, I pray everywhere.  In my house, on my porch/deck, on walks, in the car, on the phone, at work, in meetings.

Jesus assures us our prayers will be answered. Jesus asks us to believe, to pray for our needs and the needs of others, to not grow weary and to have faith. So, I pray and work hard to keep the faith.

I am blessed as I look back on the last 45 years of prayers, the decisions made in unison with Jesus’ guidance went well while those decisions when I was individualistic, dependent on myself, acting only under my own authority did not go so well. Today I pray to always stay aware of Jesus presence and Jesus’ spirit.

Specific prayer and faith passages are evident in hundreds of placed throughout the bible and present in beautiful artwork throughout the world. 

A few of my favorites:
John 16: 24
Until now you have not asked anything in my name; ask and you shall receive; so your joy may be complete.
Hebrews 10: 23
Let us hold unwaverly to our confession that gives us hope, for he who made the promise is trustworthy.
1Peter 5: 7
Cast all your anxiety on Him, because he cares for you.
Mark 10: 27
Jesus looked at them and said “for human beings it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.  

A beautiful work of art portraying Faith with the encounter between Jesus and the hemorrhaging women by Daniel Cariola oil on canvas at the The Encounter Chapel, Magdala (1998). 

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