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?"
Both the first reading and the Gospel passage today are about prayer. And prayer is really about perseverance.
The first reading is from the Book of Exodus (17:8-13) retelling the war between the Israelites and Amalek. At the war, the Israelites needed Moses to pray for them, because when Moses prayed with arms outstretched, God gave victory to his people’ prayer.
When the Israelites were marching to the promised land, they were stopped by Amalek. Moses, on behalf of the Israelites, prayed to God, and won the war. Today, on our pilgrimage to Heaven, evils and temptations also try to prevent us from reaching our destination. However, we are better off than the Israelites at the time of Exodus, because Jesus Christ prays to God the Father for us. He is more powerful than Moses. While, Moses had to be helped by Aaron and Hur who held up his hands from growing weary. Jesus stretched out his hands on the cross and saves us all.
Even Jesus prays for us with his mighty power, we have to do our part as well. It is well said that God helps those who help themselves. So, in today’s Gospel, Jesus told us a parable, a parable about a persevering widow calling for justice to show that we are never to grow discouraged.
In the world we live, we find that many people suffer because of wars, social injustice and human weakness. When facing such darkness, we can turn to Jesus at his Passion and pray with him. Amen.