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Thursday, 13 October 2022 11:15

Don't give up!

Jesus told his disciples a parable about the need to pray always and never lose heart.

‘There was a judge in a certain town,’ he said, ‘who had neither fear of God nor respect for man. In the same town there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, “I want justice from you against my enemy!” For a long time he refused, but at last he said to himself, “Maybe I have neither fear of God nor respect for man, but since she keeps pestering me I must give this widow her just rights, or she will persist in coming and worry me to death.”’

And the Lord said, ‘You notice what the unjust judge has to say? Now will not God see justice done to his chosen who cry to him day and night even when he delays to help them? I promise you, he will see justice done to them, and done speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find any faith on earth?’ (Luke 18:1-8)

Reflection - Don’t give up!

Jesus tells this story of a persistent widow who wins the day against an unjust judge. St Luke says that the story is “about the need to pray continually and never lose heart”. God is not like the unjust judge, who delays in answering and finally gives in only when threatened. God will hear and answer the persistent cry of his people.

We, too, can be tempted to lose heart as we live in the midst of the evils of our own day. When will there be justice for the poor, the hungry, the disabled, and the disadvantaged, we wonder.

Sometimes in prayer, we realise that we are called to play our part with concrete actions which help to relieve the suffering of others. We know we cannot do it all by ourselves, but perhaps there is something that we can do.

St Luke uses this story to encourage his community of believers – to urge them not to lose heart as, surrounded by the evils of their day, they wait for the return of Jesus. They should keep faith and rely always on God’s goodness. Their persistence in prayer is an expression of their trust in God. Perhaps their prayer will show them what to do as they wait.

Just as Moses keeps faith with God in the battle against the Amalekites (first reading), so the disciples must remain in a faithful relationship with God. Prayer, understood as nourishing our relationship with God, rather than ‘saying prayers’, keeps us in this faithful relationship with God as we wait for Jesus’ return. That is the kind of faith Jesus wonders about in the final sentence.

Download to read or print our Celebrating At Home prayers, reading and reflection for this Sunday:

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