Jesus told them a parable to show them that they should pray continually, and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor people. In the same town was a widow who kept coming to him, saying: ‘Defend my rights against my opponent.’ For a time he refused, but finally he thought: ‘Even though I neither fear God nor care about people, this widow bothers me so much I will see that she gets justice; then she will stop coming and wearing me out.”
And Jesus said, “Listen to what the evil judge says. Will God not do justice for his chosen ones who cry to him day and night even if he delays in answering them? I tell you, he will speedily do them justice. Yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
Once again in this parable Jesus gives an extremely painful situation. On the one hand is the selfish judge, incapable of administrating justice. On the other is the pitiful case of a widow oppressed by her opponent. Of course, she doesn’t have any support. However, she appears very persevering in her plea. Notice that the final decision of the judge is still selfish. He is not concerned with the widow’s justice, but his own convenience.
The moral of Jesus is surprising. The argument is called a fortiori, i.e., if the egoistic judge was forced to do justice, all the more God would do it for the people who cry to him day and night. And Jesus introduces here a new paradox: will the action of God be slow or speedy? Often we answer, slow. In fact, only in heaven will we realize the suitable time God used for us and our history in his interventions. Jesus however reassures us, but with a final question about perseverance in faith at the moment of his coming. Perseverance then is the teaching of the Gospel.
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