GOSPEL REFLECTION. PERSEVERING PRAYER. PARABLE OF THE UNJUST JUDGE (Lk 18:1–8).
Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.
PARABLE OF THE UNJUST JUDGE
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?”
- As Evagrius wrote: “we have not been commanded to work, to keep watch and to fast constantly, but it has been laid down that we are to pray without ceasing.” (Evagrius, Capita practica ad Anatolium 49). For this, it is necessary to overcome our laziness, and to elevate our heart to God in all circumstances.
- It is always possible to pray: It is possible to offer fervent prayer even while walking in public or strolling alone, or seated in your shop, . . . while buying or selling, . . . or even while cooking (St. John Chrysostom, Ecloga de oratione 2: PG 63, 585.)
- Nor would it be possible to know what God wants from us.
- Nor would we obtain the graces we need in order to do His Will, reject temptations and sin…for prayer is one of the sources of divine grace.
- Nor would one be able to know Jesus, follow Him and identify ourselves with Him.
- He who considers prayer superfluous and useless evidently lacks faith in God and sees no need to be helped. Prayer, on the contrary, is a humble manifestation of man’s faith in God and in His Omnipotence –“Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth (Resp. psalm)” − for it supposes considering oneself indigent and incapable without God’s help.
- He who does not pray, does not hope, and has nothing to hope for because he considers his desires unreachable and impossible to obtain. Prayer, on the other hand, is hope in action where one puts his trust in God and abandons himself to His Will. Even if God delays in his response to what one asks, one should not worry.
- He who does not pray, does not love. For prayer is nothing but being and conversing with someone whom we love and who loves us (St. Teresa of Avila).
(St. John Chrysostom, De Anna 4, 5: PG 54, 666.)
SEE AS WELL: POPE FRANCIS ON THE PERSISTENT WIDOW AND THE UNJUST JUDGE HERE.
VIDEO COMMENTARY ON TODAY’S 1ST READING
Topic: DO YOU LOVE YOUR PARISH AND YOUR PARISH PRIEST?
Today’s reading (3 John 5-8) dwells on the topic of showing hospitality to preachers. During Jesus’ time, as his disciples went far and wide to spread the good news
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