October 20, 2019

A HOMILY FOR THE TWENTY-NINTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME –  CYCLE “C” –  10/20/19 –  SMG

+   Pax et Bonum!    Peace and goodness to you this day!

Jesus’ parable today is a little different.  Most of the time, Jesus’ parables stand up really well against the test of time.   After all, in 2019 there are still “prodigal” sons, and “good” Samaritans, and lost sheep.  The parables still make perfect sense.  And on the surface of things, I guess we could say the same thing about widows and corrupt judges.  We know, that in 2019, there are still plenty of widows who need to be looked out for, or else someone will be taking advantage of them.   And it is also true that there are also plenty of corrupt judges today that have long ago lost their sense of justice.  This is something that has to concern us as Church.  But things have changed a great deal in the situation.  The rules, the law, have changed.   And in 2019 nobody is going to know that better than a sitting judge.

So, while Jesus’ advice to the widow to persevere and not give up in her fight for justice is great advice, and is truly exactly the way that we should approach our prayer lives, it is also true that in 2019 this widow could be opening herself up to charges of harassment, if she keeps bothering him.  Or even worse, if the widow follows the corrupt judge to his home, or to his favorite restaurant, or to his kid’s school, she could be opening herself up to charges of stalking and intimidation.   And let’s be clear here, Jesus is not asking any of us to become stalkers.  You can go to jail for stalking.  Just ask that woman in New Jersey who got caught stalking David Letterman.  Stalking is bad.   Perseverance especially in our prayer is exactly the way our God wants us to pray!   Although the other problem with this particular parable, is the way that our God wants us to see Him, is as a corrupt and evil judge who refuses to listen to justice and what is right?  The judge in the parable only seems to be interested in doing the right thing and acting justly, because he is afraid that the widow is going to do him harm.   This parable has some issues, especially as we put it to use in 2019.

And yet, the basic message that we receive from this parable, the fact that we need to persevere in all our prayer, is absolutely essential to our spiritual life and to our remaining followers of Jesus Christ.   We can’t keep being Catholic Christians if we’re not praying!  There are many times, when, and many different things that we are praying for, that we can’t just say an “Our Father” or a “Hail Mary”, and expect that to be enough!  We are called to persevere in prayer.  Sometimes, it almost seems like God is waiting to answer our prayer, just to see if we will persevere in our prayer.  If it is important to us, than we need to keep praying about it.  Maybe, we need to pray for a long time for something to happen.  It doesn’t matter how long.  What matters is that we keep praying.  We keep trusting.   And we keep turning to our God.  Our persevering in our prayer is an act of Faith.   Look at how long Sarah and Abraham prayed for a child.  Look at the years that St. Monica spent praying for St.  Augustine.  Look at how many years I prayed for a bell tower and Adoration Chapel.  It all works!  God hears our every prayer!  But sometimes, God asks us to keep praying just to make sure that we’re serious about what we’re praying for!

II

So how are doing at this?  Do you keep praying, even for prayers that aren’t answered right away?  Do you just talk to God?  Does God know the top ten things that you are most concerned about in your life, right now?  He should!  God cares and loves each one of us more than we will ever know.  We can’t be afraid to bare our hearts to Him and tell Him our deepest concerns.

You know, that’s the way the Saints prayed.  They didn’t just pray nice words that sounded good.  They prayed from their hearts and they kept praying no matter what was going on, no matter what was happening.  We must do the same.  It’s time, my brothers and sisters, that we toughen up our prayer lives.

In the parable, the judge did give into the widow’s request.  He may have done it for all the wrong reasons, but he gave in because he knew she wouldn’t stop.  Our God will hear our prayers, when He knows that we won’t stop.  Not because we are harassing Him.  Not because we are intimidating Him.  But because He loves us, and He wants us to rely on Him for all things, all times!

Let us keep praying !!!

+  May God bless us today, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…              AMEN !!!

St. Maria Goretti…  Pray for us !!!