Asking, Right Now

First Reading: Exodus 17:8-13

In those days, Amalek came and waged war against Israel.
Moses, therefore, said to Joshua,
“Pick out certain men,
and tomorrow go out and engage Amalek in battle.
I will be standing on top of the hill
with the staff of God in my hand.”
So Joshua did as Moses told him:
he engaged Amalek in battle
after Moses had climbed to the top of the hill with Aaron and Hur.
As long as Moses kept his hands raised up,
Israel had the better of the fight,
but when he let his hands rest,
Amalek had the better of the fight.
Moses’hands, however, grew tired;
so they put a rock in place for him to sit on.
Meanwhile Aaron and Hur supported his hands,
one on one side and one on the other,
so that his hands remained steady till sunset.
And Joshua mowed down Amalek and his people
with the edge of the sword.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 121:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8

R. (cf. 2) Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
I lift up my eyes toward the mountains;
whence shall help come to me?
My help is from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
R. Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
May he not suffer your foot to slip;
may he slumber not who guards you:
indeed he neither slumbers nor sleeps,
the guardian of Israel.
R. Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
The LORD is your guardian; the LORD is your shade;
he is beside you at your right hand.
The sun shall not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
R. Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
The LORD will guard you from all evil;
he will guard your life.
The LORD will guard your coming and your going,
both now and forever.
R. Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

Second Reading: 2 Timothy 3:14-4:2

Remain faithful to what you have learned and believed,
because you know from whom you learned it,
and that from infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures,
which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation
through faith in Christ Jesus.
All Scripture is inspired by God
and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction,
and for training in righteousness,
so that one who belongs to God may be competent,
equipped for every good work.

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus,
who will judge the living and the dead,
and by his appearing and his kingly power:
proclaim the word;
be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient;
convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching.

Gospel: Luke 18:1-8

Jesus told his disciples a parable
about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.
He said, “There was a judge in a certain town
who neither feared God nor respected any human being.
And a widow in that town used to come to him and say,
‘Render a just decision for me against my adversary.’
For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought,
‘While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being,
because this widow keeps bothering me
I shall deliver a just decision for her
lest she finally come and strike me.’”
The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says.
Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones
who call out to him day and night?
Will he be slow to answer them?
I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily.
But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”



It was the fifth day of weeklong beach vacation. Tempers were short, the walls were closing in, and a hurricane was pushing us to pack a day earlier than planned and evacuate ahead of torrential wind and rain. All in all, the perfect setting for a classic vacation fight. So we had one. And I pushed and pulled it into its biggest version yet. That’s how I found myself outside in the wind as the rain started to spit, crying and looking at an ominous but awesome sky.

That’s how I found myself saying right out loud and rather boldly absolutely every prayer of petition I’d held in my heart for the last two years: just one big tired torrent of pleas. And please. Please, God, please.

And in the days since that plaintive wail into gusts off the ocean, God has moved with such might and majesty that I’m nearly speechless.

Why do we wait so long to ask?

Why can’t we be the widow from today’s Gospel reading who asks and then asks again? And again. And again. She asks over and over because she knows that He hears her and she believes He will answer her. Further, she has faith that He will give her everything she needs exactly when she needs it. And He does.

I think that often we don’t have what we want because deep down, we don’t believe that we deserve or will be granted our desires, so we just don’t ask. When we don’t ask, we shut down the dialogue before it can happen. When we don’t ask, we don’t give God the chance to answer.

Asking is bold because asking invites God into the places of hearts where desire lives and lets Him shine light there. Asking is creative because we share our vision and then give God the paintbrush. Asking makes us vulnerable and opens us to the possibilities of a Lord who can give so much more than we can imagine.

What desires stir your heart but never reach your lips? Whisper them aloud to the Lord, better yet, go outside and shout them into the wind. Then listen. Listen hard. Finally, patiently watch what He does and be amazed.

Elizabeth Foss is a wife, the mother of nine, and a grandmother. She finds the cacophony of big family imperfection to be the perfect place to learn to walk in the unforced rhythms of grace. You can learn more about her here

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