Memorial of Saint Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr - Never Lose Heart in
front of the judge
Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.'” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, my Creator and Redeemer, everything good comes from you. You are the one source of peace and happiness. Thank you for bringing me into existence and insuring I received the inestimable gift of the faith. Thank you for accompanying me in every moment. I am grateful for your mercy and love and wish to respond more generously to you in my life.
Petition: Lord, allow me never to tire in my life of prayer.
1. The Widow, the Powerless: In ancient Israel, widows were often powerless. Back then, women did not earn money; that was the man’s obligation. So when a woman’s husband died, to whom could she turn for support? She depended either on her sons or on other Israelites to fulfill her needs. Christ uses the image of the widow because he has compassion on the person who is needy. Everyone is needy in his own way. Everyone has virtues he needs to acquire, and sins and vices that need to be cast out. It takes a humble person to realize his inability to acquire these virtues on his own and to resort to begging our Lord for his grace. Do I see my need for Christ in the battle for virtue, or do I work as if he played no role?
2. Cry to Him Day and Night: This reminds us to pray constantly. We can’t reduce our relationship with God to a one shot deal. It isn’t something we acquire once and for all and then move on to the next goal in life. We are to call out to him without ceasing, for our life is meant to be in continual dialogue with him. We were created to have a personal relationship with Christ, to seek his will, and then to put it into action. Everything we say, think and do should flow from our continual friendship with him.
3. The Judge, the Unjust: The judge was indifferent to the widow’s distress. This was an injustice. He had as much a duty to listen to her as he had to listen to anyone else. Have I ever been indifferent to a person I had the duty to serve? The judge finally heard what she was saying because she persisted. God wants us to be persistent. He is showing us that we must beg him for his grace. It is as if he treats us as a parent who says, “If my child really wants this from me, he will beg until I let him have it.” God wants us to realize we are completely dependent on him. He knows what we need before we ask. However, he waits until we turn to him in prayer and in this way increases our desire for what we request.
Conversation with Christ: Christ Jesus, you are the way, the truth, and the life. Allow me to live a life completely dependent on you. Turn my prayer into a union of hearts, where I beg you for your love.
Resolution: I will make an act of humility before our Lord in the Eucharist.