One of the many titles of Luke’s Gospel is that of “Gospel of prayer”. Within this gospel we see many accounts of prayer. The gospel today is one of many. There are many forms of prayer. Today we meditate on the prayer of petition. Luke makes his comment at the beginning of the parable – pray constantly and do not lose heart.

Luke describes two characters, the judge who has no regards for people. He is incapable of shame. On the other hand, there is the widow, an example of the poor and marginalized in the society. Luke does not tell us of the widow’s circumstances; why she is pursuing vindication. We do know that she is persistent; she would come repeatedly. The judge, as we understand, has no care for God or man. However, because of the persistence of the widow he will give in to her petitions. He wants to be spared any violence; he does not want a black eye! The moral of the story is that if this corrupt judge can give in how much more God the righteous judge will give in to the cry of those who call upon him.

The story is very simple, touched with Luke’s humor. We are to “storm heaven” with our prayers. Jesus tells us to call out day and night. No matter how often we pray, we are not to lose hope and heart over what may seem so impossible. St. Paul tells us that good things come to those who wait upon the Lord. The widow could have easily become discouraged. Moreover, she could have given a long time ago. Seemingly, the judge would not budge. He would not give in. It was only in order for him to be spared from being bothered that he gave in. One may wonder why since it took the judge so long to favor the widow. It tells us just how corrupt and non-fearing he was to God and man. Taking care of the widow was one of the highest statutes of the law. This poor widow had every right to be listened and fairly dealt with. The widow gives us a fine example of persistence in prayer.

 

Are you persistent in prayer?

 

Lord, I always call upon you in my need. Help me not lose heart. Amen