Lk 18:1-8

 

Prayer is a wonderful gift that God has given to his people. What a wonderful opportunity we have in relationship with God as one who provides in our needs. The Gospel today teaches us the value there is in prayer and the need to be persistent in prayer.

 

The widow is the poor one in the story. She has no one left to defend her cause, she is helpless and vulnerable. She must be bold and persistent towards the judge so that she can receive her just rewards. Note the contrast in that of the judge. The successes and wealth that his profession have brought him has tended to make him unaware of the needs of the poor widow. Jesus tells us that the judge has no concern for men nor fear of God. The judge is uncompromising and unwilling to give in to the plea of the widow. In a fortunate kind of way the judge finally becomes bothered and attends to her need. he attends to her not out of concern for the widow but rather to keep his sanity! There is a selfish agenda behind this giving in – so that she won’t eventually wear him out with her coming! The Lord concludes the parable by stating the fact that if the unjust judge meets the need of the widow (for his own sake), how much more will God see justice done to those who call out to him?

 

The catechism of the Catholic church teaches three principles of prayer, (i) to be urgent in our prayer – ask and you shall receive, (ii) the quality of patience – patience of faith (as in the gospel today), and (iii) humility of heart- abandoning oneself to the Father.

We are to pray constantly, never giving up. This is always the temptation and the enemy has won the battle if that is ever the case. Then why does not the Lord answer us straight away in our desperation? Perhaps he is testing our faith, or maybe we are asking the wrong thing for misguided motives or perhaps God knows that what we ask really isn’t his will. I believe the Lord always answers the prayers of those who call out to him. Sometimes they may not be answered according to our expectations. Nevertheless, the Lord will answer our prayers. To quote a Church Father who speaks on the values of prayer “Do not be troubled if you immediately receive from God what you ask him; for he desires to do something even greater for you, while you cling to him in prayer”.

 

Am I patient in my prayer to God? Do I persist in patience of faith? Where do my motives lie when I pray to the Lord?

 

Lord, teach me to pray. Give me the grace to be humble, patient and faithful in prayer. Thank you for the way that you do answer my prayers Amen.