17th Sunday of the Year – Persistence

baby-learning-to-walk

Study:  Reflect on a moment when you were able to keep going when life was difficult.  What helped you through it?

Pray:  What is difficult in your life right now?  Ask God for the strength to persist.

Serve:  Who in your life needs help right now?  How might your life help someone else keep going?

17th Sunday Readings

Have you ever watched a baby learn to walk?  It is an amazing experience to see a little one gain the confidence and coordination to move across a room for the first time.  To watch such an event is to observe the miracle of persistence.

At one end of the room is a person who is supporting the child, at the other end is someone who plays cheerleader.  As the child travels across the room there are shouts of encouragement and smiles.

Then the baby falls.  Not hard, but with enough force to remind the little one that this is not going to be an easy task.  A few rug burns, some minor bumps, and a lot of hard work occur with every attempt.

Then once the child learns to walk it is amazing at how such little feet can move so fast.  The tiny steps, applied with determination, can get a child into more places (and trouble) than many a parent can imagine (at least at first!).

The persistence of a child learning to walk reminds us that the challenges of life require our determination, attention, and effort.  The Scriptures today give us two examples of persistence as it is experienced by people of faith.

First, Abraham’s conversation with God shows his determination to save the innocent people who are still living in Sodom and Gomorrah.  His perseverance is great; he asks God six times to spare the city, each time pushing the limit a little farther.

Second, Matthew’s Gospel shows how persistence is revealed through the example of the unrelenting friend who knocks at a door.  Sooner or later persistence is rewarded, and “everyone who asks, receives; who seeks, finds; and who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Every day we experience moments that demand our persistent application.  Life is difficult; and our determination to encounter the struggles of life will be rewarded through time and effort.  Christ teaches his disciples that God will give us what we need, but we need to ask – seeking God at every moment for help and guidance.

May the persistence of a child learning to walk remind us that the difficulties of life are overcome with steadfast effort and tiny steps.  As we journey in our faith we trust that God will walk with us, supporting us and providing for our needs.

About Fr. Andrew Ricci

A Catholic priest since 1997, Fr. Andrew Ricci is currently the rector of the Cathedral of Christ the King in Superior, WI. His website "Three Great Things" can be found at studyprayserve.com and his podcasts can be found under "Catholic Inspiration" in the iTunes store. View all posts by Fr. Andrew Ricci

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