Gospel: Lk 18:1-8
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 there was a widow, who kept coming to him, saying, ‘Defend my rights against my adversary!’ 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. But, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
We all know people who won’t take no for an answer. You refuse them once, they insist. You refuse them again, they insist again. Finally, you shoo them away with a violent outburst of temper. And you think that the matter is settled. But it isn’t. The petitioners return on the next day and beg you to listen to them. You refuse again, explaining as patiently as you can why you are refusing their petition. But they ignore your explanations, merely repeating and repeating their request with a great show of despair. They even hang on to your clothes like gnats or pests. What do you do after a while? You throw your hands in the air and grant them their request—against your better judgment, of course. But what is the alternative? Lose your mind?
The parable in today’s gospel reading reflects a similar situation and presents a thoroughly annoying widow who pesters a wicked judge endlessly—until he finally gives in to save his sanity.
Jesus tells us here that we must not fear to insist and importune God with our requests. If a wicked judge finally gives in to a perseverant request, how much more a kind Father?