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Memorial of Saint Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr
Then he told them a parable about the need to pray continually and never lose heart. “There was a judge in a certain town,” he said, “who had neither fear of God nor respect for anyone. In the same town there was also a widow who kept on 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, ‘Even though I have neither fear of God nor respect for any human person, I must give this widow her just rights since she keeps pestering me, or she will come and slap me in the face.’” And the Lord said, “You notice what the unjust judge has to say? Now, will not God see justice done to his elect if they keep calling to him day and night even though he still 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?”
Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, increase my faith, and may your Kingdom come in my heart and in the world.
- Perseverance in Prayer: Jesus has recently been speaking much of his second coming and the final judgment. In this passage, he gives us a tool for our daily lives: persistent prayer. Prayer, a mere lifting of our gaze to the living God, is an incredible gesture of faith. It says to God, “I believe you exist; I hope in your power to save me.” Jesus offers a simple parable from daily life that helps us see the power of persistent prayer. Persistent prayer serves to form our interior disposition. It keeps us coming back to the Lord and, like a sacramental, prepares the heart for an encounter with grace.
- Justice: The judge in the parable did not seem like a merciful or kind man. He was moved out of mere irritation. But Jesus contrasts this human and unjust judge with God. If the unjust judge gave the woman what was her due, how much more will God give to his children? God is, by his very nature, just. His justice is manifest even to the cross, where he takes on the suffering that is due to us for our sinfulness. Since the Lord Jesus has already paid for our sins, we reap the reward of justice. His death on the cross was a merciful gesture of love that also satisfied justice. In and through Jesus, we can persistently claim our inheritance of salvation.
- Faith: Jesus made a promise that we cannot take lightly. He promised that justice will be offered to those who persist in prayer. But at the same time he revealed his concern: “When the Son of Man comes, will he find any faith on earth?” The door that opens the torrent of mercy and justice is faith, revealed in the persistent hearts of those who cry out in prayer and knock until they receive what they came for. This calls us not only to reflect upon our faith, but how we invite others to persist and not pass up the opportunity to receive their inheritance—salvation.
Conversing with Christ: Lord Jesus, thank you for the gift of salvation that you offer me daily. Grant me perseverance in faith and show me the way to bring others to this great discovery of faith as well.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will take the time to be that persistent widow in dedicating time of prayer to be in your presence.
For Further Reflection: Fr. Mike Schmitz on How to Practice the Presence of God, and Nine Days to Christ the King Novena, Day 2.
Jennifer Ristine is a consecrated woman of Regnum Christi dedicated to spiritual and faith formation through teaching, conferences, writing, and spiritual direction. While serving in Ancient Magdala she wrote Mary Magdalene: Insights from Ancient Magdala and “Nine Days with Mary Magdalene.”
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