Persistence in Prayer

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

Readings for Today

Saint Paul of the Cross, Priest – USA: Optional Memorial

“…because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me.”  Luke 18:5

This passage is from the story of the Persistent Widow.  She kept coming to a judge, who cared little about doing the right thing, and persistently begged him for a good judgment.  Finally he gave in so as to get her to leave him alone.

Jesus used this story to teach a lesson about the necessity “to pray always without becoming weary” (Luke 18:1).  It’s interesting that the image of the judge is one “who neither feared God nor respected any human being” (Luke 18:2).  But Jesus uses this image of an unjust judge to reveal the power of persistence and to reveal the depths of God’s mercy.

First, we learn that this woman never gave up.  So with us, we must never cease to lose hope in prayer.  We must pray always, constantly and persistently.  It’s not that prayer changes God; rather, prayer changes us and disposes us to receive the immeasurable graces from God.

Second, we learn that if an uncaring judge will eventually give a good decision, then so much more will the merciful and all-loving God pour forth His good judgments in our lives when we trust Him.  There should be no doubt in our lives that God can do all good things for us if we but let Him.

Reflect, today, upon how persistent you are in your prayer.  The prayer you must seek to live is primarily a prayer of total trust and abandonment to God.  You do not change God’s mind by begging Him.  Rather, your prayer must be so persistent that it opens you to the will of God and allows His grace to flow in accord with His perfect will.

Lord, I beg of You that Your perfect and holy will be done in my life.  I abandon all to You, dear Lord.  Do with me as You will.  Jesus, I trust in You.

More Gospel Reflections

Divine Mercy Reflections

Saint of the Day – Saint Paul of the Cross