Jesus, “a man of the greatest prayer” (SV.EN IX:326), pleads with God for us always. And his blood cries out to him more loudly than that of Abel. Surely, God brings justice without delay to those who cry out with faith as Jesus.
The Gospel this Sunday tells us that we have to pray always without becoming weary. But it is not simply about prayer. Rather, it is about a specific prayer. That is, we have to cry out to God tirelessly that he may do justice for poor people.
Undoubtedly, this teaching is part of the word that we must proclaim persistently whether it is timely or untimely. But it really suits our world today.
After all, today too thousands of people fall prey to merciless exploiters. These victims are as helpless as the widow in the Gospel. Their sufferings cry out to God for justice. And we also cry out with them and for them, believing that he sees their affliction and hears their cry.
Yet despite our many prayers and best efforts to work with God, the poor keep suffering, getting poorer, growing in number. Meanwhile, the wicked continue to suffer no pain and to prosper (Ps 73, 3-12). Staying proud and violent, they seethe with plots and from on high plan oppression. They do not stop telling lies and fostering falsehood, and issuing threats, as though might makes right. Sadly, these are times of exclusion, wall-building, separation and isolation.
And so, we wonder if God really sees, listens and helps. But, yes, the Gospel tells us in no uncertain terms that God does care and hear our cry. Even a judge, who is the very definition of corruption, can relent. How much more, then, will the loving and merciful God see to it that he does justice for the poor. But do we have the faith Jesus wants us to see in us?
Faith makes us pray and cry out to God for justice.
To pray always without becoming weary requires that we have faith. And to believe so means to pray and cry out with Jesus in loud cries and tears to the One who can save us (Heb 5, 7). God heard Jesus and raised him up from the dead, which guarantees that God hears the poor and does right by them.
Moreover, faith implies keen and practical awareness of the intertwining of prayer, the breaking of bread and support for one another (Acts 2, 42-45). It all makes for the poor being heard and the wrongs done them being redressed.
Lord Jesus, we approach God through you, with you, in you, in union with the Holy Spirit. Plead with God for us. And increase our faith. Spur us on to cry out to God always that he does justice for those in the clutches of racist, self-serving and corrupt leaders.
20 October 2019
29th Sunday in O.T. (C)
Ex 17, 8-13; 2 Tim 3, 14 – 4, 2; Lk 18, 1-8