20 October, Sunday – With the community

20 October 2019

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Exodus 17:8-13

The Amalekites came and attacked Israel at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, ‘Pick out men for yourself, and tomorrow morning march out to engage Amalek. I, meanwhile, will stand on the hilltop, the staff of God in my hand.’ Joshua did as Moses told him and marched out to engage Amalek, while Moses and Aaron and Hur went up to the top of the hill. As long as Moses kept his arms raised, Israel had the advantage; when he let his arms fall, the advantage went to Amalek. But Moses’ arms grew heavy, so they took a stone and put it under him and on this he sat, Aaron and Hur supporting his arms, one on one side, one on the other; and his arms remained firm till sunset. With the edge of the sword Joshua cut down Amalek and his people.

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2 Timothy 3:14-4:2

You must keep to what you have been taught and know to be true; remember who your teachers were, and how, ever since you were a child, you have known the holy scriptures – from these you can learn the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and can profitably be used for teaching, for refuting error, for guiding people’s lives and teaching them to be holy. This is how the man who is dedicated to God becomes fully equipped and ready for any good work.

Before God and before Christ Jesus who is to be judge of the living and the dead, I put this duty to you, in the name of his Appearing and of his kingdom: proclaim the message and, welcome or unwelcome, insist on it. Refute falsehood, correct error, call to obedience – but do all with patience and with the intention of teaching.

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Luke 18:1-8

Jesus told his disciples a parable about the need to pray continually and never lose heart. ‘There was a judge in a certain town’ he said ‘who had neither fear of God nor respect for man. In the same town there was a widow who kept on coming to him and saying, “I want justice from you against my enemy!” For a long time he refused, but at last he said to himself, “Maybe I have neither fear of God nor respect for man, but since she keeps pestering me I must give this widow her just rights, or she will persist in coming and worry me to death.”’

And the Lord said ‘You notice what the unjust judge has to say? Now will not God see justice done to his chosen who cry to him day and night even when he delays to help them? I promise you, he will see justice done to them, and done speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find any faith on earth?’

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But Moses’ arms grew heavy, so they took a stone and put it under him and on this he sat, Aaron and Hur supporting his arms

In our parish, we have recently started the Neighborhood Christian Communities. There are house visits and gatherings in different households. I’ve never been the ‘community-type’ so I’ve honestly never been to one, but our priest added me to the Whatsapp group so I’ll think I’ll attend the next session.

When asked about what programme is best for Catechism, our parish priest replied that all programmes out there are good, and he wants to focus on building a community between the youths. And during the recent Confirmation Mass, Archbishop William Goh emphasized the need for a community in order to remain in faith (not just grow in faith). He said that if the children leave the faith, that’s because they were not given the community to support the faith.

In today’s reading, God gave Moses the power to ensure the Israelites’ victory – he merely had to raise his arms. Soon, Moses grew tired, and it was through the help of his community members that he was able to fulfill the role he needed to. Without Aaron and Hur, Moses would not have been able to raise his hands until the battle was over.

It is the same in our lives. We need a community in order to do what God has asked us to do. It’s amazing how even though it is our own mission, we need to do it with others. If we reflect about it, we shouldn’t be surprised – God is a trinity, a community, after all.

When we get to heaven, I think we will see all the people who were part of our faith community – those who spent their time with us, those we spent time with, those who inspired us, and those we inspired. We are not going to heaven alone because God wants us to get their with our communities.

Who are the members of your community? Who are your companions in this journey of faith? Let’s ask God to bring us to a community, to make us grow in this community, and to allow us to share our lives in our community.

 (Today’s OXYGEN by Stephanie Villa)

Prayer: Dearest Lord God, please bless the community of believers you have provided me in my life.

Thanksgiving: Thank you, Lord, for not allowing me to be alone in this faith journey.

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