Sunday, October 21, 2007


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? Luke 18:7-8

In this parable, Jesus confronts us with two intriguing characters; a powerful judge and a powerless widow. Only a simple sentence tells us what the judge was like. He "neither feared God nor cared about people." What's left? Only himself.

Our powerless widow in this parable, fits an Old Testament picture: the widow to whom justice was so often denied - one of the outcasts for whom Jesus was concerned. Our widow here has a tough time getting justice from the judge, no metter how long and how tearfully she pleads. So what does she do? She makes a nuisance of herself. Finally, the judge had it. She is simply wearing Him out, so he gives her what she wants.

The lesson on this parable? The Gospel makes it clear, beyond doubt, that if sheer persistence can prevail in a dishonest judge to do justice, how much more will an upright God listen to the persistent prayer of His own, "His chosen ones, who cry out to Him day and night?"

Therefore, we have His absolute assurance that persistence in prayer will prevail. But yet, me might ask? Why do the innocent suffer, the wicked prosper? Why does God not "vindicate the chosen ones, who cry out to Him day and night? Why does He delay too long over them?"

It we are sensitive enough on God's promptings, we will know that in the face of evil, God manifests Himself to us, not to defend His wisdom but to stress His mystery.

My dear brothers and sisters, despite the many unresolved questions to which it gives rise, we have much to learn from "the case of the invincible widow." Whatever your sad experience with prayer is, with the prayer of petition, God still wants you to "hang on there".

Like the powerless widow, make a nuisance of yourself. Storm heaven like crazy; don't let the Lord rest even on Sabbath. You might just prove a nuisance enough for the Lord to finally give in to your petitions. God Bless!

Father Ben Sim, SJ
Cebu City, Philippines