29th Sunday Ordinary Time

29th Sunday Ordinary Time


Vol.6 No.6 DOM Gospel Reflection

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time October 16, 2016–Luke 18:1-8

In today’s Gospel, Jesus is again telling his disciples a parable, the parable of the persistent

widow. Yes, this gospel is yet another one teaching and challenging us on our prayer life. The purpose

of this parable is to encourage us to persevere in our faith against all odds.

Jesus first tells the disciples about the necessity, “to pray always without becoming weary.” The

word that stands out to me, and is the most challenging in this statement is the word always! In this

parable, “Always” seems to mean to persevere and be diligent at all times, especially when you feel

temptation, affliction, desolation and sorrow in your life. But, we all know it is impossible for us to pray

at all times, meaning every waking moment. We must have time to eat, to work, to exercise, to spend

time with our family, and time for recreational play. Therefore, always means not continuance prayer

but perseverance in prayer. Remember several weeks ago, when Lynn Clapper presented our spiritual

instruction for the day, on The Ignatian Way to pray. She instructed and encouraged us to set aside a

specific time and place for prayer. Most importantly she asked us to be consistent and persistent with

this daily practice. We should spend this one-on-one time with the Lord in prayer, until we have

obtained what we need, and what we have asked for. Jesus also says for us not to be faint, which in

Greek means, be weary in our prayer life. In our daily lives, we are so busy, that we seem to be

distressed and in a hurry most of the time. In able to overcome this state, we need to ask for help and

strength from God through prayer. Jesus told this parable to give fresh hope and confidence to his

disciples, so that they would not become faint and weary.

Secondly, Jesus tells a story about a defenseless widow who is taken advantage of, and refused

her rights by a shameless and unjust Judge. A judge with little faith and no respect for God or human

beings. The widow never quit pestering and nagging the powerful Judge to grant her justice and

freedom from her adversary. Through her persistence and perseverance, she is finally vindicated by the

Judge. Some scholars suggest that the widow resembles the Church, in which she and the Church

appear desolate at times, while waiting and praying to the Lord. Although, we know He is secretly

watching over her and us, His Church at all times. Her adversaries, of course, are her enemies and

persecutors. Strangely enough, God is identified with the corrupt judge. That is, assuming, that Jesus

doesn’t mean that God is corrupt, He means to show us, that if persistence pays off with a corrupt

human of limited power, how much more will it pay off with a just God of infinite power. A corrupt

judge with a just God implies that God’s will is at work even in a corrupt world. The judge’s job is to

do justice, and by God, he will do justice by the time the persistent widow is finished with him. When

God avenges the righteous the wicked must perish.

So, what does this story tell us about justice and vindication in the kingdom of heaven? It tells

us that persistence pays off, and especially for those of us who trust in God. God is our Judge, and God

as our Judge, is quick to bring us his justice, his blessings, and his help when we need it. We need not

lose heart and forget to ask our Heavenly Father for his grace and help. By asking we mean being

persistent in our prayer life. In the second reading this coming Sunday, in 2 TM 4:2, He says, “I charge

you in the presence of God and of Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead, and by his

appearing and his kingly power, proclaim the word: be persistent whether it is convenient or

inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching.

Thirdly, 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.” God can bring justice in a

corrupt and sick world in a timely manner. That is why persistence and perseverance are so important

in our faith and prayer lives. No one likes to wait, but waiting and persisting in the Lord’s strength and

help is both a sacrifice and a test of our faith. We have to do both! When speaking of persistence,

perseverance and prayer, I can’t help but think of Jesus in his journey to the Cross. He accepted his

cross. He fell down three times. He was stripped of His clothes. He was nailed to the cross. He died on

the cross. And, all along the way, he persevered in the most difficult situation. He was persistent in

enduring all the pain. And, finally, the last thing He did while hanging on the cross was pray to His

heavenly Father.

Finally, Jesus ends his parable with a question. And, oh my what a question it is! He says, “But

when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” My first reaction is, why sure He will. Just

look in this room right now. Why, we have over 100 sweet precious Daughters of Mary sitting right

here every Tuesday sharing our faith. And, I know we all go to Mass every Sunday. Why, most of us

attend at least one retreat a year. We proclaim our faith every Sunday when we pronounce The

Apostles’ Creed. Surely, when Jesus returns in glory to judge the living and the dead, he will pronounce

all of us as living. So, my questions to you today, dear Daughters of Mary are the following. Will you be

among the living? Will you and I be persistent and persevere in our prayer life to the end? Will we

always pray and not grow weary and lose heart? Have we shared our faith with others? My last

question to you is, have you invited a friend or neighbor to join us in the Daughters of Mary? I view the

Daughters of Mary as such a special treasure chest filled with so many jewels. I truly believe our

treasure chest is a prayer chest, and each one of us is a special jewel or gift to each other. So, it only

makes sense that the more jewels we have in the chest, the more valuable our chest will be. So, please

be persistent and persevere and pray that our treasure chest will grow.

Sources: www.usccb.org; www.rc.net;www.theologyofwork.org;The Magnificat;The Aquinas Study Bible

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