ST JOSAPHAT B.M. (Memorial) Red
He was a monk ordained a Byzantine rite priest in 1609. His superior Samuel never accepted unity with Rome. Samuel was later removed by his archbishop and replaced by Josaphat. Josaphat’s work to unite the faithful won him great admiration. He was martyred by a group of mob who were against him. He was the first Eastern saint canonised by Rome in 1876.
First Reading: 3Jn 5-8; Psalm: 112. R. v. Alleluia ; Gospel: Lk 18:1-8
THE GOD OF JUSTICE
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
According to the belief of the Jews, there are three group of persons that God has a soft spot for. A widow, an orphan and a stranger. The Jews believed that the plea of this trio reaches the ears of God so quickly because they are vulnerable and defenceless. A widow has no husband to support her. An orphan has no parent to guide and provide for him/her. And a stranger has no relative in a foreign land to fall back on. God is all they’ve got. Now, it makes more sense why Jesus used a widow in this parable to teach us how God answers prayers.
On our part, the message of this 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 on the part of God which of course is the most important point of this parable; the message is more about the justice of God than the persistence of our prayers. God listens to the prayers of those who cry out for justice especially the vulnerable and defenceless. So as much as Jesus encourages us to persist in prayer, he all the more warns us that God will not hesitate to defend the oppressed when they cry to him.
There is always that tendency to oppress the vulnerable and defenceless because we feel they really do not have any one to defend them. Let us always remember that though they may have no one to speak for them; they however have God to defend them. When we call on God in prayer, it is not our persistence that moves him to grant our request but how right and just our prayer intentions are. Our God has a very soft spot for the weak and oppressed. And he is even more obliged to act in their favour when they cry for justice. So, it is safe to always stand for what is right and just.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, we pray for the grace to do what is right and just and to trust in you when we pray. Amen.