Mission Sunday — God’s Patience

Reflections on forthcoming Mass readings by Tom and April Hoopes.

Oct. 21, 2007, is the 29th Sunday in ordinary time (Year C), Mission Sunday.


EPriest.com offers “Best Practices” resources to help parishes learn from the success of other parishes. One highlights the “Welcome Back” program at Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Indialantic, Fla. Mission Sunday is a great time to begin organizing this Advent/Lent program.


Go on a “mini-mission” this Sunday by donating food or clothing to a drop-off point. If possible, find one in the inner city and bring the kids.

At dinner, talk about mission work you (or friends or family) have done.

Check with your parish for volunteer possibilities.

CRS.org Catholic Relief Services is the U.S. bishops’ aid agency.

CatholicWorldMission.org sells Glory Stories, great introductions to the missions for younger children.


Keys of the Kingdom (Gregory Peck, 1944) explores a missionary vocation. Ignatius.com offers several documentaries about Mother Teresa.


Exodus 17:8-13; Psalms 121:1-8, 2 Timothy 3:14-4:2; Luke 18:1-8

Epriest.com provides excellent homily aids.

Our Take

Today’s readings explore the virtue of patience — God’s and ours. First we hear how Israel wins at war as long as Moses holds up his hands over the battle. When he lets his arms droop, Israel loses. The story is appropriate for Mission Sunday.

God insists that we do his work in the world, even though he is the Creator and sustainer of the universe, its King and sole source of power. Our “help” is like Moses’. It truly is work, hard to do and hard to sustain, but the credit for the results goes to God.

God knows that the best way to show us his concern is to make us partially responsible for what he does. He uses our “raised arms” to show his power. In the Gospel, Christ takes this further. He compares himself to an unjust judge who we must pester for results. Why would God do that?

Because, as we persist in prayer about a need, we begin to put it in perspective — and see that no earthly power answers it. As the Psalm says, “Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”

Also, the more persistent we are in prayer, the more we demonstrate faith and trust. Like St. Paul says, we need to “be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching.”

Tom and April Hoopes are editorial directors of Faith & Family magazine (FaithandFamilyMag.org).