DAILY HOMILY FOR SATURDAY OF THE 32ND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR II.
THEME: DON’T LOSE HEART.
BY: Fr. Karabari Paul.
‘Jesus told his disciples a parable, to the effect that they ought always pray and not lose heart.’
The assurance of God’s love for us is what Jesus has brought. This love gives us confidence to face whatever comes our way. We can face life without losing heart.
In the Gospel of today, Jesus told a story of unjust judge and a widow to strengthen the hearts of His disciples (Luke 18:1-8). The judge was not a a man-pleaser. Neither did he respect the special needs of the poor and oppressed. He was independent or thought he was. He was not overly concerned about public opinion.
He was concerned with himself; his own opinions, his own comfort, his own peace. The judge was arrogant, self-absorbed, and unjust, a powerful man facing down one of the weakest members of society; a widow.
Widows had a difficult place in Palestine; around the world, in fact. Normally, the wife of a deceased husband had no legal right to inherit her husband’s estate, so when her husband died, she couldn’t take for granted living in his house on his land. If her deceased husband had no children, the estate reverted to her husband’s male relatives on his father’s side; his brothers, his father’s brothers, and then the nearest family kinsman. If she had grown children things, would be easier; they would take care of Mom. But a widow with small children might just as well have to contend for property rights with her in-laws, and if they didn’t happen to like her, things could be difficult. In some cases, she might manage the estate to be inherited by her young children as a trustee, but that was by no means a sure thing.
The widow persistently demanded justice from the judge.This weak little widow started making the powerful judge feel some heat. This widow’s constant appeals were hurting the judge’s reputation. He decided to grant her what she was due just to get rid of her.
Now, for the unjust judge and the widow, Jesus substituted God and His elect. God is never unjust! No, and that is not the point. Jesus’ argument is from the lesser to the greater: If an unjust, selfish judge would see that justice was done in response to persistent requests, how much more would the just God bring justice to His own beloved people who pray constantly for relief. We are God’s elect, His chosen ones and special possession.
Sometimes we cry, “How long, Lord?” Sometimes it seems that God will never answer. Jesus has told a parable of persistence, of a widow; weak in the world’s estimation who has won a victory because she didn’t give up hope, she didn’t give up her plea, and finally won the day. But what about you and me? We sometimes become so worn down and discouraged by our lives that we stop praying, stop hoping, stop expecting God to intervene. Will we be religious, church-going unbelievers, who have given up expecting an answer, whose prayers are just going through the motions? Jesus wonders. “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (18:8).
We may not be weaker than this widow. We may not be facing longer odds than she did. But because of her persistence and faith, even the unjust judge gave her what was hers by right. God can restore us again. He can change our story again. Do not lose heart. GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE. May God have mercy on us, heal our world and land, bless and protect us all through Christ Our Lord Amen. Good morning