Remember her – the persistent widow — from Luke 18? Today’s Gospel at my church (and in the Catholic church at large) consisted of this parable. How VERY apropos for our 40 Days vigil! If the secular judge’s actions were brought on solely by the widow’s persistence, how much more will God hear us in our perseverance in prayers for Life, and how much happier is He to grant these prayers?!
Now, on to our Old Testament reading from today from Isaiah 17. (I know, I’m going backwards … ) Moses on the mountaintop with the staff of God and with his arms raised = Joshua’s Israelite army pulling ahead in their battle against Amalek and his army. Moses with his arms down = Amalek’s army taking the lead. It soon became apparent to Moses and his companions Aaron and Hur up there on that mountain that the only way Joshua and his troops were going to win was if they were somehow able to keep Moses’ arms raised the whole time with no breaks for rest. So they propped him up, and each one took an arm and held it up for him. Joshua’s troops won. Moses (and therefore Joshua and all the good guys) got by, and won, with a little help from their friends. Isn’t that the way it is with our 40 Days vigil? Does anyone doubt that we could never sustain this vigil without the very real spiritual and physical-presence help (sometimes we literally do lean on each other!) of our dear friends in the Lord?
And finally, our second reading, from 2 Timothy:
… proclaim the word;
be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient;
convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching.
No need for me to say any more – the Lord laid it all out for us loud and clear today!
Jen, the smiling face I am always greeted by on Sundays, covered 7-9:
I was so grateful to be joined this morning by prayer partner, Regina, who had kindly signed up for the early shift so that I wouldn’t be alone. It was a happy surprise when high school senior Ben joined us as well. Each of them made sacrifices, including a long drive into town, to take a stand for life today. God bless you both!
We had a few interactions with the people passing by, none negative. One woman, pulling a suitcase, gazed at our signs for the longest time without speaking, even turning her head back to them as she walked away. I don’t know if it was a language barrier or maybe emotions too deep for words that kept her from talking to us. Please pray for her and for all who are so affected by seeing the vigil as they go about their daily lives.
I covered 9-11. Indian Summer must be here – it was warm when I arrived and it only got warmer as my shift went along. I am 100% certain that a lot of this warmth was radiating off of the very warm company I enjoyed this morning, beginning with Ben and Regina, who had been with Jen for 9-11, then joined soon by Brian and LaToya from Johnstown, then my friend Vince from my parish. Good prayer and conversation ensued. A passerby introduced himself as a pastor and promoter of an organization he calls Grannies’ Gardens. He goes to inner-city neighborhoods and helps to establish gardens that are tended by grandparents and grandchildren, with the goals both of promoting family unity and green spaces. We wished him blessings in his ministry, and he wished us blessings in ours. Matt and Jeanne, first-time 40 Days participants from a neighboring parish (St. Bonaventure) of mine, came by toward the very end of my shift and stayed on into Rich and Roseann’s shift. It is always a joy to welcome new pray-ers to our vigil family!
As you can see, we have a great turnout today. A lot of foot traffic. One lady walking by had small kids with her and told them not to look at the baby models. Two men on bikes rode by yelling obscenities. Nadine came to pray 🙏 with us.
Pictures sent in by Trish:
(Nadine, from Word of God parish comes frequently on Sundays. John advocates year round at PP. He can be seen with the Face the Truth tour veterans of the pro-life movement. Recently John made a special trip out to get roses which were distributed recently in front of PP. (He wouldn’t want you to know) that but his dedication is a great example for pro-lifers (editor’s note).
A little note regarding today’s Subject line in the e-mail — an author named Napoleon Hill said this:
Patience, Persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.
(Note: I just added the “prayer” at the end. Too bad he left that most important “P” out; I’m sure it would have served the man well!)
As mentioned in the e-mail, here are the open hours this week — please sign up and come on down if you can, so that our shift managers do not have to stand alone!!
Wednesday 10/19: 7am, 8am, 9am, and 6pm
Saturday 10/22: 7am, 3pm, 4pm, 5pm and 6pm
Sunday 10/23: 7am and 8am (JEN WILL BE ALONE DURING THESE LONELY HOURS IF NO ONE COMES!)