Homily – October 20, 2019

As the Israelites crossed the Jordon they really were invading other people’s land; today we’d call it a land grab’. So it’s not surprising that the local people resisted them. Amalek, their local leader fought to protect their land. Our first reading tells of this battle between Joshua and Amalek and the role Moses played in the battle.

We’re told that as long as Moses, who was watching the battle, held up his staff the battle favored the Israelites. Eventually Moses grew tired and arms slipped and then things went in favor of Amalek.

Moses’ friends Aaron and Hur sat him down and held up his arms the rest of the day and Joshua won the battle.

What can this short reading say to us, what can it ask of us? Simply put, are we there for those who need our support, our understanding  or our strength?

Think for a second; are there family members or friends who could use our presence, our understanding and support in their times of struggle? It could be a student, stressed out by overdue assignments or exams or a friend with a hard earned college of university degree who can’t find the job in his or her field. Do you know of a friend desperate to find a work and needs some encouragement?  Is there a family member of friend who has just gone through a divorce and would appreciate you just being there? Or do you know someone struggling with a debilitating disease of any description? Do you know of anyone struggling with an addiction? Do you have a neighbour who is homebound and would love a visit?  Do you know of a grieving parent, a grieving spouse or a grieving son or daughter who is at a loss to accept the death of the one they loved

Any of these people are like the weary Moses who needs his or her Aaron and Hur to steady and support them as they face their struggles, their hurts or their disappointments. Our  words or advice may not be needed but our presence is.

There was a song out years ago that sang this challenging question; ‘where you when I needed you?’  A question;  could a family member of a friend sing these words to anyone of us?