October 16, 2022: Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel – Luke 18:1-8 (Translation from “The Message”)
Jesus told them a story showing that it was necessary for them to pray consistently and never quit. He said, “There was once a judge in some city who never gave God a thought and cared nothing for people. A widow in that city kept after him: ‘My rights are being violated. Protect me!’
“He never gave her the time of day. But after this went on and on he said to himself, ‘I care nothing what God things, even less what people think. But because the widow won’t quit badgering me, I’d better do something and see that she gets justice – otherwise, I’m going to end up beaten black and blue by her pounding.”
Then the Master said, “Do you hear what that judge, corrupt as he is, is saying? So, what makes you think God won’t step in and work justice for his chosen people, who continue to cry out for help? Won’t he stick up for them? I assure you, he will. He will not drag his feet. But how much of that kind of persistent faith will the Son of Man find on the earth when he returns?”
It’s hard for me to think about my prayers as “badgering” and even harder to see how often my prayers might be described as “haranguing” by human judges. I want to believe that I know God doesn’t view the many requests that I make as the judge views the widow’s persistence. And yet …?
What do I do with the “and yet?” Does it have anything to do with having patience with my faith? Does my frequent asking signal belief in the deep listening, hearing and understanding of God? Even when I don’t fully understand God’s action and presence, I believe that my desire to understand matters. My asking is a fulfillment of God’s desire. Only when I cease asking will there be concern about my faith.
There are many sayings about living and practicing our faith. One of my favorites is attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi and it loosely translates as: “Preach the Gospel. Use words if necessary.” What quotation or phrase about faith speaks to you? Find a place of prominence for it in your life this week.