First Reading: Ws 18:14-16; 19:6-8; Psalm: 105. R. v. 5a ; Gospel: Lk 18:1-8
THE GOD OF JUSTICE AND LOVE
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
According to the belief of the Jews, there are three groups of people that God has a soft spot for: The widow, the orphan and the stranger. The Jews believe that the prayers of this trio reach the ears of God very quickly because they are vulnerable and defenceless. Widows have no husband to support or defend them. Orphans have no parent to guide and provide for them. And strangers have no relative in a foreign land to turn to when oppressed. God is all they have. Now, it should make more sense why Jesus used a widow in today’s gospel parable to teach us how God answers prayers.
On the surface level, the message of today’s parable is on the need to pray and not to lose heart; such that if we persisted just like this widow, God will grant our request. But essentially, the message of today’s parable is more about the justice of God than persistence in prayer. God listens to the prayers of those who cry out for justice especially the vulnerable and defenceless. So, inasmuch as Jesus encourages us to persist in prayer; Jesus all the more warns us that God will not hesitate to defend the oppressed when they cry to him.
There is always that temptation to oppress the vulnerable and defenceless because we feel they really do not have any one to defend them. But we must always remember that though they may not have anyone to speak for them; however, they have God to defend them. When we call on God in prayer, it is not our persistence that moves God to grant our request but the purity of our intentions and requests. God has a soft spot for the vulnerable and oppressed; and he is obliged to act in their favour when they cry for justice. So, it is safe to always stand for what is right and just; for our God is the God of justice and love.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, we pray for the grace to do what is right and just and to trust in you whenever we pray. Amen.