God's Goodness: Case Closed

Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

• Ex 17:8-13
• Ps 121:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8
• 2 Tim 3:14-4:2
• Lk 18:1-8

By Marc Massery

In the Gospel reading this Sunday, Jesus tells a parable about a selfish judge who has no respect for God (or anyone, for that matter). According to Scripture scholar William Barclay, in ancient Judea, judges were so corrupt that plaintiffs could only get a case settled if they bribed the judge.
 
But in Jesus’ story, one determined widow finds a way to get her case settled without bribes or any wrongdoing at all. How? Persistence.
 
The Gospel says, “For a long time the judge was unwilling [to settle her case], 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,'" (Lk 18:4-5).
 
Here Jesus is saying that if an evil judge can give into the persistence of a woman in need, how much more will God, who is good, answer the prayers of those who keep asking?
 
He 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,” (Lk 18:6-7). 

Jesus wants us to persevere in prayer, because even though the Lord allows us to encounter injustice at times, we can rest assured He will intervene. In her Diary, St. Faustina says, “When I see that the burden is beyond my strength, I do not consider or analyze it or probe into it, but I run like a child to the Heart of Jesus … because I know that Jesus Himself will intervene in the matter, and as for me, instead of tormenting myself, I use that time to love Him” (1033).

While we’re waiting upon the Lord to set things right in our lives, we have the tendency to drive ourselves crazy with worry. Will the Lord deliver? Am I praying enough? What if things never change? Above, St. Faustina gives us a shining example of how to handle situations beyond our control. Instead of analyzing her problems and trying to figure them out herself, she brought her issues straight to Jesus and let Him handle everything. In the meantime, she didn’t let herself give in to worry. Instead, she focused on loving and trusting Him.

We need to do the same thing — draw close to Christ remaining steadfast in prayer, but not a negative, worried prayer like we might have if we were appealing to a crooked judge. God doesn't need to be persuaded. He is infinitely good, always working behind the scenes on our behalf. He wants to set things right for us, and He will if we but trust.

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