Daily Reflection – Oct 16, 2016
Sunday 16 October 2016
First Reading: Exodus 17:8-13
Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth
Second Reading: 2 Timothy 3:14-4:2
Gospel Reading: Luke 18:1-8
Today’s Note: Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jesus told his disciples a parable
about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.
He said, “There was a judge in a certain town
who neither feared God nor respected any human being.
And a widow in that town used to come to him and say,
‘Render a just decision for me against my adversary.’
For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought,
‘While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being,
because this widow keeps bothering me
I shall deliver a just decision for her
lest she finally come and strike me.’”
The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says.
Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones
who call out to him day and night?
Will he be slow to answer them?
I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily.
But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth? (Luke 18:8)
What a peculiar way to end this parable! Why did Jesus link his second coming to the story of a persistent widow? Let’s look at a couple of possible answers.
Perhaps this widow represents the Church. While we have been given the Eucharist, the Scriptures, and many other gifts and blessings, we are still waiting for Jesus to return. While we wait, we can feel as if we are “aliens and sojourners,” living apart from our true home (1 Peter 2:11). We can feel quite defenseless against temptation and the lies of the devil. At times we can feel as desperate for help as this widow, longing for deliverance.
Do you think life will be this way when Jesus comes again? Not at all! He will usher in a perfect world marked by peace and harmony. There will be no more sickness, divorce, poverty, division, war, or death. The wolf and the lamb, the leopard and the goat, and the calf and the lion will all live together peacefully (Isaiah 11:6). When Jesus comes again, life is going to be fantastic, beyond our wildest imagination!
This is where a second possibility comes in: We as a Church must be vigilant until the day when Jesus returns. Like the widow, the challenging circumstances that we live in call for one response: persistence, especially in prayer. We need to pray every day, “Come, Lord Jesus!” And we need to pray continually for our daily bread, for forgiveness, and for strength against temptation.
The application of this parable to our daily lives is much less about Jesus finding faith when he returns and much more about our call to be persistent and hopeful in prayer. May we all pray for an outpouring of grace upon the Church and the world. May we all be vigilant in prayer so that we won’t fall to temptation. May we all keep our hearts aflame for him as we persist in prayer for his return in glory.
“Lord, help us to persevere and put our whole hope in you until the day you come again.”