Sunday 20th October 2019 … Luke 18:1-8
1. Today’s parable about the persistent widow has a very clear message: don’t give up, continue praying, persevere. Perseverance isn’t always easy because there are times when God is delaying the answer. “Will not God see justice done to his children who cry to him day and night even when he delays to help them?” Why would God delay in answering our petition? There is a line in the Old Testament which says that it was to humble you, to test you and to know your inmost heart. If we got an instant answer to every prayer we might not appreciate it. We might think that it is due to the power of our own prayer, not God’s doing. When God delays an answer, it humbles us. A child with no toys appreciates a gift far more than the rich child who takes gifts almost as his right. We need to be humbled to appreciate the depths of our dependence on God.
2. God might be testing us in order to stretch and expand our faith. In daylight we can see all the objects near us, but it is only in the darkness of night that our vision stretches to see the distant stars. God wants to stretch our vision and to extend our faith. Sometimes a team trainer pushes the team through the pain barrier to test their commitment. Our commitment is tested if we see the necessity of backing up our words with action. Back up the words of prayer with an act of penance, or better again, an act of generosity. Don’t give up: continue to trust. God knows what is best for you.
Encouraged by the teaching of Jesus, we pray.
For the grace of perseverance in prayer even when we feel that God does not hear us. Lord, hear us.
For the humility to accept that God’s will might not always be what we want. Lord, hear us.
That times of darkness may become opportunities to deepen our faith and stretch our vision. Lord, hear us.
We pray for people who have given up on prayer and religion. May the light of Christ penetrate their darkness. Lord, hear us.
(Add prayers for any personal, local or topical intentions)
God our Father, confident that you always hear us, we offer these prayers in the name of Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen
Br Silvester OFlynn OFM Cap.