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?"
by Father Greg Friedman, OFM
If you love a story with a twist, you’ve got to like the parables of Jesus. Today we have another surprising one: Once upon a time there was an unjust judge who was badgered by a widow in his town until he relented and gave her justice.
Now—did you get the twist in the story?
Scripture scholar Barbara Reid suggests that we might see the widow as the hero of the story, and as an image of God. Now there’s a twist! Could Jesus have intended us to focus on a character who is defenseless in her society--seemingly helpless--as the one who fights for justice until she wins? If we put her in the context of Christ’s own triumph over suffering and death it makes a lot of sense. Christ was powerless before those who led him to the cross, but won victory in that seeming defeat.
We may seem powerless before all that is unjust in our world. We may even pray—a lot for those on the side of good to triumph over evil. And since the answers to our prayers often seem slow in coming, we may get discouraged and lose heart. But Jesus’ parable today encourages us not to. We’re to keep praying and working for peace and justice. God is with us in the struggle.
by Father Dan Kroger, OFM
• In the first reading (Exodus 17:8-13) , we hear that the Israelites were attacked by Amalek, so Moses sent Joshua to engage Amalek in battle. What happened when Moses could not hold his hands up in prayer? So what did Aaron and Hur do?
Did the Israelites triumph over Amalek?
• According to the second reading (2 Timothy 3:14—4:2), what does Paul tell Timothy to do?
What does Paul say about all Scripture?
• In this week's Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples a parable about prayer. What was the point of his parable?
Will God help his chosen ones when they call out to him for help?
by Susan Hines-Brigger
• Sometimes when we think of justice, we think of things that are either fair or unfair. As a family, discuss instances of injustices that you've experienced. Talk about why you thought the situation was unjust and what you could have done to make a difference in the situation.
• There are many justice issues in our society, such as the environment, immigration, racism, and many more. To learn more about these issues and what you can do to help, visit the US bishop's Justice, Peace, and Human Development at USCCB.org.