November 15, 2008
Saturday of the Thirty-Second Week in Ordinary Time
Luke 18: 1-8
Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. He said, "There was a judge in a certain town who neither feared God nor respected any human being. And a widow in that town used to come to him and say, 'Render a just decision for me against my adversary.' For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought, 'While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me.'" The Lord said, "Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says. Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe that you have the power to do all things, even the power to change my heart of stone into a heart that loves you unconditionally. I know that your presence will give me the strength to do all the things you have commanded me to do.
Petition: My Lord and my God, increase my faith. Grant me the grace to trust in your continual presence and to help you conquer the world through love.
1. The Just Judge
We owe our lives to God. If this, the most essential, is a gift from God, then it is only fitting that in living our daily lives we should pray without becoming weary. Prayer is a way in which we express our dependence on God for the things that we need. We shouldn’t fall into the trap of thinking that daily prayer is an act of heroism, since it is really a consequence of the fact that we depend totally on God for everything. That is why it is wrong to be anxious about material things. Do we think the “Just Judge” will forget about the things we need to survive? He will lovingly see to it that we receive all that we need.
2. Food for Thought
Today we get a glimpse into Christ’s attitude towards prayer. Jesus was in constant dialogue with the Father. Since he was always speaking to his Father, there was never any discord. Before his public ministry, he took forty days for prayerful preparation. In the desert, the union that he maintained with the Father in prayer was a fortress that even the strong temptations of the devil could not penetrate: “Man does not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Prayer can become our daily bread, too, and with his help we will accomplish all that he asks of us.
3. Thomas, Teach Me to Believe
When someone is skeptical, we label him a “doubting Thomas.” Yet St. Thomas the Apostle is an example of the faith that Christ speaks of in today’s Gospel. Thomas was not the only apostle to flee from the cross. Christ showed Thomas his hands and side after the resurrection, but Thomas still had to respond with faith. It’s not that Thomas didn’t believe in God; he may have failed to believe his companions. His initial unbelief and fear are actually our greatest security. Our faith is based on the real-life experience of ordinary men and women. The other Apostles believed because they, too, saw the Risen Christ. We, then, can be sure of the foundations of our faith and be ready to greet Jesus when he comes in his glory.
Conversation with Christ: Jesus, you have the words of everlasting life. I welcome your grace and your truth into my life so that I may become more like you. You freed me from my sins by your death and resurrection. Help me to thank you by the way I live my daily life.
Resolution: I will spend a few moments before our Lord in the Eucharist or in silent prayer, thanking him for the many graces he has given me.
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