Persistent Prayers

Luke 18: 1-8
Wis 18:14-16,19:6-9 / Ps 105

I tell you, God will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?
(Luke 18: 8)

A prayerful heart is tranquil,
Confident that God hears his plea;
All our requests God will fulfill
If we but pray persistently.

Then Jesus told His disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’ And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for His chosen ones, who cry out to Him day and night? Will He be slow to answer them? I tell you, God will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18: 1-8)

Reflection

Our Lord told this parable to emphasize the importance of praying without ceasing until His disciples had received what they were praying for. The parable was meant to highlight the fact that if a corrupt judge could relent and give in to the persistence of a widow, how much more would God, a loving and compassionate Father hear the prayers of His children? “Will He be slow to answer them? I tell you, God will see that they get justice, and quickly” (Lk. 18:7). Our God is a God of justice and equity, Who rewards the virtuous and punishes the evildoer. However, unlike the corrupt judge that Jesus cites in His parable, our God is also a God of mercy and compassion Who sees to it that all things will work out for our good.

I visited my cousin in the hospital who had collapsed after discovering that a son (born out of wedlock) who was under the influence of drugs had viciously murdered his fiance’. The family of the victim had included my cousin as a principal in their charge sheet. Policemen stood guard at his hospital door, ready to whisk him to jail the moment he was sufficiently recovered. It seemed as if the whole world had conspired against him and he did not know where to turn. He had reached the ultimate crossroad in his life. I told him, “The path to the left is despair, and to the right is prayer, persistent prayer. God will never refuse the prayers of a desperate man, lest he falls into despair, so you must believe that your prayers and ours will prevail.” My cousin was finally released, on bail. All of us firmly believe he is innocent of the charges filed against him, and I believe God has a higher purpose for allowing this tragedy to happen. We believe that the case of poor Rodolfo will finally be resolved in the scales of justice. We also believe prayers have helped him so far. The corrupt judge in the parable only rendered a just decision in favor of the widow out of fear– “so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!” (Luke 18:5). On the other hand, God will render a just decision for us– and answer our petitions in behalf of my cousin– not because we can bribe or influence God, but because of His loving mercy.

“However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” Jesus’ prophetic question has an ominous ring to it when we consider the many injustices being perpetrated by evil men in our international airport today. But are we going to lose faith because of so much crimes of impunity happening around us? Of course not. All the more reason why we should heed the message in today’s Gospel – that we must pray, and pray continuously! Only prayer can assure the victory of righteousness and justice.

Most loving and merciful Father, we fervently pray for Your protection in these uncertain times, when the evil that men do threaten the very stability and peace of our society. We pray for the power of your grace, dear God, to influence all our officials in government to be steadfast in the implementation of their duties, and in resisting the temptations of money, and the coersions of evil men. Let your Holy Spirit shield them, Lord, with Your gifts of courage, prudence, integrity and wisdom. This we pray in Jesus’ Name. AMEN.

Comments are closed.