Working with the Word
Focusing the Gospel
Key words and phrases: Pray always, Render a just decision, judge was unwilling, I shall deliver a just decision, faith on earth
To the point: In this parable the widow’s persistence in petitioning the judge is directed toward changing his mind so that he will act and render a just decision. Our prayer is not a matter of changing God’s mind, however. Persistent prayer is about faithful relationship to God that expands us and our expectations of how God is to act. God always acts justly. The challenge of the gospel is to keep on praying to a God who wills only good for us. Sometimes this requires that we must change our minds.
Connecting the Gospel …
… to the first reading: The obvious connection between the First Reading and Gospel is that both Moses and the widow persist in their petitions. But there are other connections as well: the widow and Moses are God’s “chosen ones”; the petitions are in line with God’s will; prayer petitions, when just, are always answered by our just and caring God.
… to experience: We tend to be most persistent about what is most important to us. For example, we are persistent in exercise routines, athletic training, musical practice. So it is with prayer: we remain faithful and persistent in prayer when God is at the center of our life and that for which we ask flows from deep faith that God always hears our prayers and answers them.
**From Saint Louis University