October 19, 2013

29th Sunday - C


Faith-filled Prayer

The widow in this parable knows her needs.  Moreover, she knows who has the ability to help her.

The judge is the only person who can “render a just decision for [her] against [her] adversary.”

Do I always know that God alone can satisfy all my needs and all the longings of my heart? [1]

If we look at the example of the widow that way, then the character of the wicked judge has something to teach us.

In some parables, Jesus uses positive examples to illustrate some truths about God.  For instance, the father in the parable of the prodigal son reflects the forgiveness and love of God.

In this parable, however, God should not be likened to the judge, who “neither feared God nor respected any human being.”   It is evident that this judge does not act in any Godly manner.  The Law of Moses specifically demands God’s people to care for the vulnerable in society like the widow.  One example is Deuteronomy 27:19, “Cursed be anyone who deprives the resident alien, the orphan or the widow of justice.” [2]

We should think of God as the total opposite of this wicked judge.

Now, we can hear/read again the questions Jesus asks us, “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?”

Then we can and praise God for who God is.  We can ask for forgiveness trusting in God’s mercy.  We can thank God for God’s love and blessings.  And with faith, our prayers can be “of humble acceptance” of God’s will [3] when we do not understand it.  And we can “pray always without becoming weary” when God is “slow to answer” us. 

And that is the challenge.
[1&3] Francis Moloney, The Gospel of the Lord: Reflections on the Gospel Readings, Year C. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1991; p. 173.
[2] Luke Timothy Johnson, The Gospel of Luke.  Sacra Pagina Series.  Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1991; p.269.

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