TWENTY-NINTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
(Green) Cycle C/Year II (October 16, 2016)
Ex 17:8-13/2 Tim 3:14-4, 2/ Lk 18:1-8
The widow was the symbol of all who were poor and defenseless, as commented by Barclay, a biblical expert, while the judge was a pagan judge who was usually a corrupt one who could be bribed by the adversary of the widow. Obviously, the widow had no hope of getting justice from that corrupt judge. Her only way of getting it was her persistent supplication to the judge. The judge rendered a just decision in favor of the widow out of fear that in the end the widow might do him harm.
The judge in this parable is in no way a representation of God. God is a just and merciful judge. God grants to us what is our due. But this does not mean that we will always get what we pray for. Just like a father who does not usually give what his child asks especially those things that can harm him, God also never gives to us our requests which can harm our Christian life. Other times, God delays in granting our request because He sees to it that when we receive what we ask for, it is for our good, whether spiritual, moral or social.
In the parable, what Jesus emphasizes is the persistence of the widow. It was because of this persistence that the corrupt judge gave in to the request of the widow. In the same way, Jesus wants us to be persistent in our prayer to God because God is very willing to grant us our request but then we need to persevere in prayer. Perseverance in prayer is needed because God’s thinking is not the same as ours and God’s way is different from ours. In prayer, God never denies us but rather responds to us in His time.
The importance of perseverance in prayer is the realization of the biblical command that we may pray unceasingly. God wants us to pray always because He wants us to be always in communion with Him. Through prayers, we unite our hearts and minds to God and, in faith we submit our wishes and will into the loving hands of God. God is not an unjust or corrupt judge; He is a Father who understands us and who loves us deeply that He is willing to do everything to help us become closer to Him. God wants us to be with Him because He wants our good.
We are made in the image and the likeness of God and we are made for Him alone. The fullness and meaning of our lives can be found only in God. If we are one with God, then our life is fulfilled. We will never look for anything else because God satisfies all our desires. On the other hand, if we are still in constant search for anything that can make us happy, it is because we are not yet united in heart and mind with God. Unconsciously, we are looking for something that can replace God in our lives. We have to remember that only God can satisfy us because we are made for Him. St. Augustine put it in these words: My heart is not at rest until it rests in you, my God.