Saturday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time

Wis 18:14-16; 19:6-9; Ps 105:2,3,36,37,42,43; Lk 18:1-8

By their exemplary lifestyle the saints proclaimed the glory of God, and even to our own day, their voices resounds and to the ends of the world, their message.  The witness of all the saints confronts the foolishness of those who seek beauty and power in this world without seeking The Source of all beauty and power.  True wisdom enables such a search to bear fruit, a fruit that will last through centuries of violence and foolishness.  However, will wisdom triumph in the lives of those who seek to preserve life?   They will lose their lives, but those who lose their lives in loving service will triumph over foolishness.

From heaven’s royal throne bounded a fierce warrior, the Incarnate Son of God came among us in our enslavement and poverty.  He came into our doomed land with the sharp sword of God’s holy and righteous decree.  We became new, a new creation, when he alighted upon our land of darkness and gloom.  Indeed, every hungry and enslaved people of every time in history crossed over the Red Sea on a grassy plain out of the mighty flood.  We stood like mighty steeds and bounded about like lambs praising the LORD our deliverer.  Like the Christ of eternal glory these earthly examples bounded from the heights to live and move and have her being among all those who struggled to live in a church so often assaulted by the world.  The word of their example cuts through all the self- deception of the self-absorbed and superficial all around.  They are truly wise, and like the eternal word of God, they become one with The LORD.  There is no fear in their abandonment of the world.  Among the poor and powerless they find all the security needed to give themselves away as did the true Lord and Master, Jesus the Christ.

Why would any judge be unwilling to enact justice?  This judge neither feared God nor respected any human being.  With this radical detachment from divine and human fellowship this judge could not be just or compassionate.  Indeed, even his final act of securing the rights of the widow was a decision to protect his own reputation.  The dishonest judge is the opposite of the LORD God.  The LORD is not slow to answer the cries of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night.  Indeed, the LORD is speedy to respond with true justice and great compassion.  The model for us in this parable is the widow.  She never gave up on the dishonest judge.  She believed that her persistence would summon forth a response, even from such a self-absorbed judge.  She persisted in bothering the dishonest judge because she believed in the justice of her cause.  She knew that she was in the right and that ultimately justice would prevail even through an unjust judge.  The Lord Jesus wants us to have this kind of persistence in prayer.  We need to pray always without becoming weary.  Just as the widow prayed, knowing full well the motivation of her dishonest judge.  Indeed, she was well acquainted with the darkness of the human heart, and she was confident that even a self-centered judge would respond justly even if only to protect his own reputation.  We too must pray, knowing full well the motivation of the Father Almighty.  He knows our need even before we pray; yet, he wants us to know our need, from our prayer.  Only when we recognize our absolute dependence upon the LORD will we be ready for his just and compassionate response.  He is swift to hear and respond; we are slow to understand and receive.  Indeed, our persistence in prayer comes from our confidence that the LORD knows us better than we know ourselves and he responds with a swiftness that startles our slow and sluggish hearts.  Indeed, the LORD gives his Holy Spirit to anyone who asks, seeks, and knocks.  Is there any better response to our prayer?  Could we ask for anything more?  Yes, the Son of Man will find faith when he comes, only if we continue to pray always and never grow weary.