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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?”

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

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
love.
“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-
yer!
“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.


6 posted on 10/19/2019 9:40:35 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Scripture readings from the Jerusalem Bible by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass

Liturgical Colour: Green.


First reading Exodus 17:8-13 ©
As long as Moses kept his arm raised, Israel had the advantage
The Amalekites came and attacked Israel at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, ‘Pick out men for yourself, and tomorrow morning march out to engage Amalek. I, meanwhile, will stand on the hilltop, the staff of God in my hand.’ Joshua did as Moses told him and marched out to engage Amalek, while Moses and Aaron and Hur went up to the top of the hill. As long as Moses kept his arms raised, Israel had the advantage; when he let his arms fall, the advantage went to Amalek. But Moses’ arms grew heavy, so they took a stone and put it under him and on this he sat, Aaron and Hur supporting his arms, one on one side, one on the other; and his arms remained firm till sunset. With the edge of the sword Joshua cut down Amalek and his people.

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 120(121) ©
Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains;
  from where shall come my help?
My help shall come from the Lord
  who made heaven and earth.
Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
May he never allow you to stumble!
  Let him sleep not, your guard.
No, he sleeps not nor slumbers,
  Israel’s guard.
Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
The Lord is your guard and your shade;
  at your right side he stands.
By day the sun shall not smite you
  nor the moon in the night.
Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
The Lord will guard you from evil,
  he will guard your soul.
The Lord will guard your going and coming
  both now and for ever.
Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

Second reading
2 Timothy 3:14-4:2 ©
The man who is dedicated to God becomes fully equipped and ready for any good work
You must keep to what you have been taught and know to be true; remember who your teachers were, and how, ever since you were a child, you have known the holy scriptures – from these you can learn the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and can profitably be used for teaching, for refuting error, for guiding people’s lives and teaching them to be holy. This is how the man who is dedicated to God becomes fully equipped and ready for any good work.
  Before God and before Christ Jesus who is to be judge of the living and the dead, I put this duty to you, in the name of his Appearing and of his kingdom: proclaim the message and, welcome or unwelcome, insist on it. Refute falsehood, correct error, call to obedience – but do all with patience and with the intention of teaching.

Gospel Acclamation cf.Ep1:17,18
Alleluia, alleluia!
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
enlighten the eyes of our mind,
so that we can see what hope his call holds for us.
Alleluia!
Or: Heb4:12
Alleluia, alleluia!
The word of God is something alive and active:
it can judge secret emotions and thoughts.
Alleluia!

Gospel Luke 18:1-8 ©
The parable of the unjust judge
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?’

7 posted on 10/19/2019 9:46:04 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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