The Virtue of Persistence

The main idea behind persistence is to not give up when pursuing a goal despite struggles and difficult situations that arise. In general, that idea also applies to the Christian virtue of persistence, but there are some qualifications.

The battle between Israel and the Amalekites (Exodus 17:8-13) shows the virtue of persistence in face of a difficult struggle. As long as Moses kept his hands raised up, the Israelites were winning, but when he lowered his hands to rest, the enemy was winning. With the help of Aaron and Hur, Moses was able to keep his hands raised. Eventually, their persistence paid off and Israel won the battle. Do we have our own up and down struggles with particular sins? By God’s grace, the virtue of persistence can help us win these spiritual battles.   

St. Paul’s second letter to Timothy speaks of his being imprisoned in Rome, from where he admonishes Timothy to be persistent in proclaiming the Gospel despite its difficulties; whether it is convenient or inconvenient, to convince, reprimand and encourage others with patience (cf. 2Tim 4:1-2). The key word here is patience. Nagging people to compliance is a result of impatience, but never giving up on someone by teaching at the right time and opportunities is a mark of patience and persistence.  

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus tells His disciples the parable of the persistent widow in order to teach them the necessity to pray always without becoming weary. (cf. Luke 18:1-8) Human experience tells us that it is not easy to keep on praying for something that we feel we will never get or happen. Many times, I have heard people complain that they have stopped praying altogether because even after praying so hard, they never got what they wanted; like a bigger house or a perfect mate. For them, the parable was just a lie. That’s quite unfortunate because the parable not only promises that God hears our prayers, it also teaches us what we need to pray for.

Taking the example of the widow in the parable, she pursued the dishonest judge so that he would render a just decision for her against her adversary. The widow wanted what was right and just; she wasn’t being selfish. Therefore, Jesus said, “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.” (Luke 18:7-8a) We must learn to pray for what is right and just, and not for selfish motives or reasons.  

St. Paul said in his letter to Timothy: “The time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine, but follow their own desires and stop listening to the truth.” (2Timothy 4:3-4) In conclusion to the parable of the persistent widow, Jesus said: “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke18:8b) Indeed, we hear of more and more people who have lost faith for one reason or another; many who have stopped praying and coming to Mass. But even more so should we pray to God persistently for those who have lost faith or are struggling with faith; so that at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ our Lord, he will still find some faith left on earth.

You may bring photos of your departed loves ones beginning next Sunday, October 23, in order to give us time to prepare the prayer table for Sunday Mass on October 30 and All Saints Day Mass on November 1. All Saints Day Mass at 12:00pm is offered in loving memory of our departed parishioners.

This year, Giving Tuesday is on November 29, 2022. We are raising funds to purchase a new monstrance for Eucharistic Adoration. Online donations on the iGiveCatholic website are accepted from November 14 to 29, 2022. Please go to the website and select HOLY NAME OF JESUS CHINESE CATHOLIC MISSION。Beginning next Sunday, you can also donate by using the iGiveCatholic envelopes. Thank you!

A reminder that our Fall garage sale on October 22, 2022 from 8am to 2pm, and for our Volunteer Day on November 5, 2022 from 8am to 11am. Please sign-up with Daisy. You can still bring for-sale items to the church for the garage sale until Friday, October 21.

A free webinar on Catholic Marriage and Canon Law will be offered on October 29 (Cantonese) and November 19 (Mandarin) by Rev. Vincent Woo. This webinar is intended for catechists and those who work in marriage preparation.

Prayer List: Guo Huici, Pan Bohao, Angela Griffin, Wang Dacheng, Long Guorui, Zhang Qiang, Xu Taicheng and Qiu Laihao.