Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM

Today’s Readings

Scripture: Lectionary 496. III John verses 5-8. Psalm 112:1-2.3-4.5-6.
Luke 18:1-8.

Jesus puts it to us today. He asks, "Will I find ANY faith on earth when I
come?" We who are the disciples of Jesus can courageously and reverently
say, "Yes, Lord, you will find faith on earth when you come." We easily
name contemporary saints, modern day martyrs, Mother Theresa, Blessed
Chaminade, and the list is as Revelation tells a number that cannot be
counted. Our parents, our mentors, our pastors are among those who have
faith in the Person of Jesus and they witness it to all those whom they
meet. We thank the Lord for the challenging question and say Amen. We
believe that the word of God, the Sacrament of the Eucharist, our fellow
believers and disciples deepen our beliefs and lead us to the "faith of the
heart" which is described in Romans 10. Daily Jesus breaks open the
Scriptures for us and nourishes us with his Body and Blood, that is, his
very Person.

That concludes the parable of today. We now turn back to the beginning of
chapter 18 where we hear again a parable that we heard on a Sunday not too
long ago. We have had time to ponder it over and to deepen our
understanding of it. Jesus begins with urging us to pray always (so does
Paul) and not to lose courage. We are to keep on knocking upon the door of
heaven and not lose hope. The point of the parable may go in two or more
ways. One way of interpreting it is to see it in the light of the ultimate
things that Jesus is talking about. The second petition of the Lord's
Prayer then is being explained and we have a deeper appreciation of what it
means when it says, "Thy Kingdom come." This parable can be seen within
the context of the Parousia or the Second Coming of Jesus. The parable is
also able to be interpreted as a prompting to keep persevering in our
prayer both inward prayer and vocal prayer; prayer of praise, and prayer of
petition. The unjust judge is compared with the widow who is seeking
justice as is evident in the Greek text. She will keep bothering him till
he gives in and works toward a solution for her need for help and for
justice. Sister Barbara Reid,O.P.(Dominican) in her cd on Luke and Acts
(see KnowYouKnowMedia.Com) tells us that this widow is so persistent that
the judge fears she will give him a black eye. The translation of the
phrase can mean this as is seen in the parallel example of Paul in
ICorinthians 9:27 where Paul is using the boxing ring as an example of his
persistence. G.W.H.Lampe, one of the best of Greek lexicographers tells us
about the expression (to paraexhein moi kopon) " wear me out means hit me
in the face . In other words, 'treat me roughly' whether physically or
otherwise." (Peake's Commentary on the Bible, p. 837). Our widow is not a
wimp. She has the power of a "virgo potens", that is, a very strong person
both in will and in her physical strength. Thus the parable helps us to
see how important it is to trouble God with our prayers like a boxer does
with his or her punches (in this case, a woman boxer). But let us be
careful not to give God a black eye! Amen.