Gospel LK 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?"
+Prayer: Come Holy Spirit, Come by the means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Thy well Beloved Spouse. Amen
Grace to Pray for: The grace of perseverance in prayer, and awareness of the Presence of God.
“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 to them speedily.”
“Will not God then“secure the rights…?” I love this passage. The image that comes into my mind is of a little child. When I served in the homeless shelters as a young sister, the little one’s voices could be heard literally day and night crying, “Mama, Mama,” or if one of us was there, working upstairs in the shelter you would hear a chorus of little ones call out, “Madresita,” over and over again. I can relate to this passage. One day when I was working in our shelter, ‘Queen of Peace,’ on Valencia Street in San Francisco, the Lord taught me something profound. I was put in charge of our women’s shelter for unwed mothers and their children. My superior was a beautiful sister from Kerala, India, she was wise and loving. She put me in charge of the shelter when I was still quite a young sister. The women in the shelter were oftentimes quite irresponsible; they did not always pay attention to their little ones who were crying or pleading. When I would be at work in the shelter, the little children would follow me all around in all my duties. Sometimes they would get busy with something or with one another, but then if they didn’t know where I was, or if they lost sight of me, they would scream or shout out my name over and over, “Hermanita Juana Pescador!!” That long name I would hear over and over, or simply they would repeat over and over, “Madresita!” Crying louder and louder, at one point, I would stop working and call back, “I’m here!” Sometimes that was enough and sometimes the crying would go on until I showed my face and then they would tell me everything that happened that hurt them, every last detail from start to finish, about how Luis took her toy and ate her food etc. etc. I would hold the little one in my arms and just let her talk. She needed to know of my presence, she needed to regale her sufferings to one who loved her and cared. Sometimes she needed me to ‘secure her rights’ as another child perhaps had done her wrong, and go to them. Most of the time, they were perfectly fine, they just wanted my nearness and love. Sometimes they would really be in a jam, with spilled food or broken dishes. But they knew I was there. They knew I loved them. They knew if they called enough I would be there and fix whatever it was that needed fixing. They had confidence in me. I loved the children in the shelter so much- I felt them my own. If I, a simple human being can love these little ones so much, what about our Father in heaven? Isn’t this something of what Jesus is saying?
There are rights belonging to us as children of God. We have a right to our Father’s love, protection, providence, to name a few. We also hold a duty to turn to Him, call out to Him, wait on Him, trust in Him and receive what He gives, confident that it is indeed good what He is giving me, because He loves me. Jesus reveals to us so powerfully in this passage the heart of our Heavenly Father. What does He do when we call upon Him day and night? Does He take his time? Does He do nothing? There is a great comfort found when we cry out to God, with a deep and heartfelt awareness of His Presence and look to Him with a heart bathed in trust. We ‘give Him’ in a sense the freedom to be our Father and we find ourselves waiting on Him with great eagerness to see what He will do, knowing that He will do it! If I but call upon Him with Trust and Love.
"All our difficulties in prayer can be traced to one problem: Praying as if God were absent.” (St Teresa of Avila)