Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.’”
And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
.New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
Several times each week I walk north or south from our house on one errand or another. Along the way I frequently meet various persons who ask for money. Some of these are Streetwise vendors like Murry and Leo whom I have come to know. Others ask for bus fare or lunch money. Sometimes I encounter anger or despair. Occasionally I meet someone scraping together enough cash to buy a few groceries for his family. For a while I thought of these people as a “bother,” an “inconvenience” to get past. Then I started looking into their eyes and listening to their stories. Finally I began to carry some quarters and dollar bills in my pocket…even at the risk of being “taken.”
The woman in today’s gospel holds up the reality of grinding poverty and daily need. And she brings home this line from today’s gospel: “Listen to what the corrupt judge has to say. Will not God then do justice to his chosen who call out to him day and night?”
Jesus reminds us that “the poor you will always have with you.” How might I respond this weekend?
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
Bless the poor, bless the immigrant, bless the victim of wage theft, bless those forced to beg on the streets just to feed their families. Bless the homeless and those without shelter, bless victims of abuse and harassment, the unbelieved and unnoticed, bless those caught in the shadows. God bless the marginalized.
—Marty Troyer, the Peace Pastor. Houston Mennonite Church.