Moses Needed Help and So Do We
29th Sunday Ordinary Time
October 16, 2022
Israel is battling a grave enemy, Amalek, in this Sunday’s first reading from Exodus 17:8-13. God instructs Moses to stretch out his hands in prayer over the battle. As long as Moses does so, Israel wins the battle. The only problem was that Moses’ arms began to get tired, and as he lowers them, Amalek begins to win. Israel has a big problem. What is the solution? Moses needed help. The Lord wanted Moses and the Israelites to learn something: namely, that they couldn’t do it alone. Moses could not hold his arms out for long without the help of others. Moses needed his community of believers.
This reading is full of rich insights for our own walk with Christ. Sometimes we are like Moses, badly overwhelmed and unable to go on: we need the help of others. At other times, we are the ones who are called to lift up and support the arms of our brothers and sisters in need. For example, when I pray for others, help at the parish in any way, make a donation, or have an hour of adoration, I am like those who supported Moses’ hands when he grew tired.
It is not really possible to be an active Catholic without belonging to a local community (a parish). When we come to Mass, for example, we support others by our presence and receive their support as well. At times, people in our lives will cause us consternation and difficulties. Yet, without such people in our lives, how would we grow? How would we live the gospel?
At other times we will receive badly needed support in our walk with Christ. This is because in a parish we are a community of believers, a family, living our faith together. We find both support and challenges in being committed to a parish family, and this is what Christ desires for us. Without this, we can easily fool ourselves into thinking we are living the gospel, when in fact, we are doing so only on our own terms. We need the Church to guide and support us; at times we need others to assist us as well as people we are called to assist.
Amalek, the enemy of Israel in the first reading stands for any enemy that we are currently doing battle with in our lives. If you find your personal battles are going against you, get the help of others right away! Start by placing your needs before Jesus in personal prayer, at communion, on the prayer chain, and in the basket in the adoration chapel. Call on the Virgin Mary and the saints to intercede for you. Ask others to pray for you and support you! Consult a professional for your problem, if possible. You are not alone, and you don’t have to fight your personal battles alone. God will lead us to others (including the saints) who will support us if we allow him to do so, and then, like Moses and the Israelites, we won’t be so easily defeated!