The 29th Sunday of Ordinary Time-Year C Luke 18:1-8
In this Gospel story Jesus teaches us the importance of justice, of praying and of never giving up hope. He wants to teach us a more mature understanding of prayer.
The parable tells of a widow who wants justice and a judge who does not fear God or respect others, in fact he is a dishonest man. The judge eventually gives in to the woman's request as he grows tired of her asking over and over again. Her perseverance wears him down and he just wants rid of her.
Jesus knows how easy it can be for us to lose heart when we think that our prayers have not been answered but He still wants us to be persistent in prayer just as the widow was persistent in her request. We don’t know what was going on in her life just as we don’t always know what is happening in the lives of those around us.
Jesus also emphasises that God is not like the judge in this story. God is just, truthful, and loving. We can approach him in prayer with the same perseverance that the woman showed because we know that our prayers will be heard.
It is right at the end of this Gospel that Jesus gets to the point of the parable. The lesson is about the persistence of those who pray. God wants us to be like the determined widow, persisting in forming our relationship with God, confident that God will hear and answer our prayers. He is saying that if this bad judge eventually did the right thing, how much more will God, who is all-powerful and good, do what is right? So if we don't get what we pray for the first time, should we just give up? Jesus tells us that ‘God hears the cries of all who call out to him day and night’. And God will certainly answer our prayers, even if it's not always in the way that we expect.