Luke 18:1-8 The Poor Widow and the Judge

FR.JOYCHENN PARANJATTU

The Lord gives us the parable of the widow and the unjust judge to tell us about our need to pray constantly even when there is no immediate response to our cries before the Lord. He asks us never to lose heart. He tells us that any stubborn person can be transformed to give heed to others’ pleas through sheer perseverance. The Lord assures us that such is the case with a person who also prays with confidence and trust in the Lord. The widow must have gone to this judge a number of times and the response of the judge would have been sheer silence! However, the widow did not lose heart. She knew that she was asking for justice against her opponent who apparently was more powerful than herself. She knew that her request was just and that it should be granted to her without fail.

Many people come to us for help. At least a few times we send them away saying:‘we are busy’. Remember that a person shows great confidence in us when that person keeps on coming to us rather than going to someone else for help. It is simply because the person believes that we can grant his/her request more than anyone else. We should not let the person go back sad. We should not disappoint people who trust us, who have confidence in our ability to help the needy. It is the Lord who causes the minds to unite for a single purpose. A person who ignores this aspect would neither fear God nor show any respect to the other.

The parable notes that the judge neitherfearedGod and norhadanyregardfor anyone. However, he was bothered by the widow’s nagging persistence. In order to get out of this nuisance the judge thinks that he should get justice for the widow. Widow is one who is weak and vulnerable. Her husband is no more. She may not be in a position to reach out to the children, or that they are small. Or worse, her husband has left her without children. She has no money to bribe the judge. In short, she is a person whois totally helpless. Such is the presentation of the parable by Jesus that we too consider ourselves to be as powerless as this widow. The Lord wants us to have great confidence in our heavenly Father. We should not be upsetabout the opponent’s might.He will never abandon us if we cry to him day and night.

We are amidst the global pandemic covid-19. The world leaders have tried A to Z in order to prevent the virus’ entry into their country, cities, towns, villages and homes which threatenseveryone’slives. The word of God says: “‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart’. Where is the one who is wise?…Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” (1Cor 1:19-20). It is amidst such uncertainties that the Lord assures us that he will quickly grant our request provided we cry to him day and night. The time has come for scholars and theologians, Bishops and priests, lay men and lay women to implore the Lord for mercy and protection. “I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them”. There is assurance of a sure reply for our cries. In order to cry, the Lord tells us that we need to have FAITH in Him. Therefore, his query to us is:“And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

We should be confident enough to say a strong ‘Yes’. If we have not started to pray, it’s time to beginand lead our people also to prayer. We are the chosen ones of the Lord. The Word of God also means to say that we are chosen by God to cry to him day and night. It was not we who chose him, but rather, the Lord chose us. This calling is for a specific purpose: to intercede for the whole world, to continue the mission of the only mediator, Lord Jesus. If we are willing to pray the Lord will reveal to us areas and people we need to pray for. To pray constantly means to carry the cross –to share the burden of the Lord – for the Lord, with the Lord and in the Holy Spirit. Amen!