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From: Luke 18:1-8

Persevering Prayer. Parable of the Unjust Judge

[1] And He (Jesus) told them a parable, to the effect that they ought always to
pray and not lose heart. [2] He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who
neither feared God nor regarded man; [3] and there was a widow in that city who
kept coming to him saying, ‘Vindicate me against my adversary.’ [4] For a while
he refused; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor regard
man, [5] yet because this widow bothers me, I will vindicate her, or she will wear
me out by her continual coming.’” [6] And the Lord said, “hear what the unrigh-
teous judge says. [7] And will not God vindicate His elect, who cry to Him day
and night? Will He delay long over them? [8] I tell you, He will vindicate them
speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”


1-8. The parable of the unjust judge is a very eloquent lesson about the effective-
ness of persevering, confident prayer. It also forms a conclusion to Jesus’ tea-
ching about watchfulness, contained in the previous verses (17:23-26). Compa-
ring God with a person like this makes the point even clearer: if even an unjust
judge ends up giving justice to the man who keeps on pleading his case, how
much more will God, who is infinitely just, and who is our Father, listen to the
persevering prayer of His children. God, in other words, gives justice to His elect
if they persist in seeking His help.

1. “They ought always to pray and not lose heart.” Why must we pray?
“1. We must pray first and foremost because we are believers.
“Prayer is in fact the recognition of our limitation and our dependence: we
come from God, we belong to God and we return to God! We cannot, therefore,
but abandon ourselves to Him, our Creator and Lord, with full and complete con-
fidence [...].
“Prayer, therefore, is first of all an act of intelligence, a feeling of humility and
gratitude, an attitude of trust and abandonment to Him who gave us life out of
“Prayer is a mysterious but real dialogue with God, a dialogue of confidence
and love.
“2. We, however, are Christians, and therefore we must pray as Christians.
“For the Christian, in fact, prayer acquires a particular characteristic, which
completely changes its innermost nature and innermost value. The Christian
is a disciple of Jesus; he is one who really believes that Jesus is the Word In-
carnate, the Son of God who came among us on this earth.
“As a man, the life of Jesus was a continual prayer, a continual act of worship
and love of the Father and since the maximum expression of prayer is sacrifice,
the summit of Jesus’ prayer is the Sacrifice of the Cross, anticipated by the
Eucharist at the Last Supper and handed down by means of the Holy Mass
throughout the centuries.
“Therefore, the Christian knows that his prayer is that of Jesus; every prayer of
his starts from Jesus; it is He who prays in us, with us, for us. All those who
believe in God, pray; but the Christian prays in Jesus Christ: Christ is our pra-
“3. Finally, we must pray because we are frail and guilty.
“It must be humbly and realistically recognized that we are poor creatures, con-
fused in ideas, tempted by evil, frail and weak, in continual need of inner strength
and consolation. Prayer gives the strength for great ideas, to maintain faith, cha-
rity, purity and generosity. Prayer gives the courage to emerge from indifference
and guilt, if unfortunately one has yielded to temptation and weakness. Prayer
gives light to see and consider the events of one’s own life and of history in the
salvific perspective of God and eternity. Therefore, do not stop praying! Let not
a day pass without your having prayed a little! Prayer is a duty, but it is also a
great joy, because it is a dialogue with God through Jesus Christ! Every Sunday,
Holy Mass: if it is possible for you, sometimes during the week. Every day, mor-
ning and evening prayers, and at the most suitable moments!” (Bl. John Paul II,
Audience with Young People, 14 March 1979).

8. Jesus combines His teaching about perseverance in prayer with a serious war-
ning about the need to remain firm in the faith: faith and prayer go hand in hand.
St. Augustine comments, “In order to pray, let us believe; and for our faith not to
weaken, let us pray. Faith causes prayer to grow, and when prayer grows our
faith is strengthened” (”Sermon”, 115).

Our Lord has promised His Church that it will remain true to its mission until the
end of time (cf. Matthew 28:20); the Church, therefore, cannot go off the path of
the true faith. But not everyone will remain faithful: some will turn their backs on
the faith of their own accord. This is the mystery which St. Paul describes as the
rebellion” (2 Thessalonians 2:3) and which Jesus Christ announces on other oc-
casions (cf. Matthew 24:12-13). In this way our Lord warns us, to help us stay
watchful and persevere in the faith and in prayer even though people around us
fall away.

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

4 posted on 11/16/2012 10:32:29 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass

First reading 3 John 1:5-8 ©
My friend, you have done faithful work in looking after these brothers, even though they were complete strangers to you. They are a proof to the whole Church of your charity and it would be a very good thing if you could help them on their journey in a way that God would approve. It was entirely for the sake of the name that they set out, without depending on the pagans for anything; it is our duty to welcome men of this sort and contribute our share to their work for the truth.

Psalm Psalm 111:1-6 ©
Happy the man who takes delight in the commands of the Lord.
Happy the man who fears the Lord,
  who takes delight in all his commands.
His sons will be powerful on earth;
  the children of the upright are blessed.
Happy the man who takes delight in the commands of the Lord.
Riches and wealth are in his house;
  his justice stands firm for ever.
He is a light in the darkness for the upright:
  he is generous, merciful and just.
Happy the man who takes delight in the commands of the Lord.
The good man takes pity and lends,
  he conducts his affairs with honour.
The just man will never waver:
  he will be remembered for ever.
Happy the man who takes delight in the commands of the Lord.

Gospel Acclamation Jm1:21
Alleluia, alleluia!
Accept and submit to the word
which has been planted in you
and can save your souls.
Or cf.2Th2:14
Alleluia, alleluia!
Through the Good News God called us
to share the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Gospel Luke 18:1-8 ©
Jesus told his disciples 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 man. In the same town there was 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, “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?’

5 posted on 11/16/2012 10:35:28 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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