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Co-workers in the Truth? The Widow and the Unrighteous Judge

November 17, 2012

 November 17, 2012, Saturday, Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time; Memorial of St. Elizabeth of Hungary

3 John 5-8.  We ought to support such persons, so that we may be co-workers in the truth.

Luke 18:1-8.  Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night?

Reflection:

Today’s Parable of the Widow and the Unrighteous Judge teaches us the next disposition of prayer: perseverance.  Has there been a better time to take notes?

Widows are among the most powerless and vulnerable.  Without courage, they would blow away like so much chaff.  Not only their own personal courage, but the courage of those that stand up, change course, and reach out a saving hand.  So is the dramatic tale today.

These days going up to Jerusalem are full of beauty and wisdom.  Though the unjust judge feared nothing, his intellect accepted the wager: better be sure.  And to be sure, the widow – with no power of her own – too poor to pay off officials, perseveres in her petition to the Father.  The outcome is not in doubt: we have faith.  And truly, the judge is of no consequence.  If an unjust judge is ready to vindicate her, how much more will the Father come to the aid of his children?

And then, just as the inconsequence of this official seems clear and justice prevails for our destitute widow – perhaps we can see another truth?  Perhaps the mercy was not for the woman.  Perhaps, God’s mercy is shown in patience and deliberation.  Perhaps the Father is giving the unjust time to renounce their error, and rededicate themselves to aiding the least of our neighbors.  We have been given time to repent.  The parausia – the end days – may be a long time in coming, but it will come, quickly, and unexpectedly.  Like the widow, we must be persistent in prayer; and pray constantly.

These are certainly unsure times.  And there are certainly trials that we face, challenged to persevere in the face of injustice.  But God’s mercy is big enough for us all.  Surely together we can love and help each other, and share our burdens on our way to eternity?  Surely we can remember – and even share – our gratitude?

For they have set out for the Name and are accepting nothing from the pagans.  Therefore, we ought to support such persons, so that we may be co-workers in the truth. – 3 John 7-8

Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict chose as his episcopal motto, Cooperatores veritatis – Co-workers in the Truth.  This was his hope for us, and with us.  We hear this in John’s epistle: that we ought to support people – especially our strangers – so that we may indeed become co-workers in the truth.  Like the example given to us by St Elizabeth of Hungary – devoting herself to the care of the poor, sick and aged.  It is only in working on behalf of one another, that we can sustain our crosses, persevere in prayer and faith, and receive the righteous mercy of God.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 17, 2012 2:45 pm

    As a postscript, something else to think about: of all of the Parables of Jesus, this is the only one ending in a question. Could it be special emphasis?

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