Sunday, June 26, 2011

Luke 18:1-5 - Prayer

Scripture Luke 18:1-5

And he told them a parable, to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, "In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor regarded man; and there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, `Vindicate me against my adversary.' For a while he refused; but afterward he said to himself, `Though I neither fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will vindicate her, or she will wear me out by her continual coming.


One of the most difficult duties of the Christian life is prayer.

This is one of the most essential duties, but it is challenging because we are engaging in spiritual exercise and therefore we do not see the immediate fruit in the natural realm. Today’s readings invite us to strengthen our prayer life and to remember that perseverance is the key.

In today's Responsorial Psalm (Ps 121:1-8) we're told to lift our eyes to the mountains, that our help will come from Mount Zion and the Temple - the dwelling of the Lord who made heaven and earth.

Joshua and the Israelites, in today's first reading in Exodus (Ex 17:8-13), are also told to look to the hilltops. They are to find their help there - through the intercession of Moses - as they defend themselves against their mortal foes, the Amalekites.

Notice the image: Aaron and Hur standing on each side of Moses, holding his weary arms so that he can raise the staff of God above his head. Moses is being shown here as a figure of Jesus, who also climbed a hilltop, and on Mount Calvary stretched out His hands between heaven and earth to intercede for us against the final enemy - sin and death (see 1 Corinthians 15:26).

By the staff of God, Moses bested Israel's enemies (see Exodus 7:8-12;8:1-2), parted the Red Sea (see Exodus 14:16) and brought water from the Rock (see Exodus 17:6).

The Cross of Jesus is the new staff of God, bringing about a new liberation from sin, bringing forth living waters from the body of Christ, the new Temple of God (see John 2:19-21; 7:37-39; 19:34; 1 Corinthians 10:4).

Like the Israelites and the widow in today's Gospel, we face opposition and injustice - at times from godless and pitiless adversaries.

We, too, must lift our eyes to the mountains - to Calvary and the God who will guard us from all evil.

We must pray always and not be wearied by our trials, Jesus tells us today. As Paul exhorts us in 2 Timothy (2 Tm 3:14-4:2), we need to remain faithful, to turn to the inspired Scriptures - given by God to train us in righteousness.

As Jesus points out in the gospel reading in Luke (Lk 18:1-8), we must persist so that when the Son of Man comes again in kingly power, He will indeed find faith on earth.

May each of us grow in the perseverance of our prayer life and have the patience to wait for God’s timing.

May God bless all that you do for Him, and may everything else fall by the wayside.

Source: Catholic Call

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