Enduring Faith and Prayer
SATURDAY: Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time
Enduring Faith and Prayer
The author of Wisdom is extravagant in his use of poetic language to recall the dynamism of the divine Word and the creative activities of God. The author, also, concurrently prefigured the whole incarnation narrative and the active role Christ played in the first creation and the part he was destined to play in creating a new heaven and new earth (Jn.1:1-18; Is.65:17; Rev.21:1).
Neither the Father nor the Son had to lay a finger on anything. By their mere utterances all things came into being (Jn.1:3) and by the same Word hold all things together (Col.1:17). The centurion noted he was not worthy to entertain Jesus under his roof. He believed that from a distance the utterances of the Lord were just as powerful as his presence (Matt.8:8). The disciples of Jesus would latter utter a similar expression “Your words are spirit Lord and they are life. You have the message of eternal life (Jn.6:63).
For the author of Wisdom opined that God, by the power of his word could restore order in the midst of chaos for the good and the salvation of his children in the world. The whole of creation is obedient to God and he shelters his children in the shadow of his wings. God liberates and protects his chosen ones; he gives them the opportunity to praise him by the use of his own word.
We are a product of that Word. By the power of the Word, God created us. We carry in our mortal bodies the everlasting effects and power of the Word. The Word is our Alpha and our Omega. The effective use of words is, to communicate and to build communion and community with God on earth in anticipation of our eternal communion with God in the kingdom of heaven. God is communal; together with the Word and the Spirit, God maintains that sense of community with us both in the public celebration of the Word and our individual private devotions. We call that communion, prayer. Prayer is the lifeblood of a healthy relationship with God.
Thus in today’s Gospel initiates and encourages us to maintain a buoyant communication link with God and Christ Jesus. Persistent prayer is a demonstration of faith and resilience. The analogy of the unyielding judge and the poor widow demonstrates that pray is a battle against the oddities of everyday life, acts of injustice, oppression, slavery and the desire for ongoing liberation and justice. Battles are never won in a day. Only faith, endurance and perdurance guarantee victory and justice. That is what we believe real communion with God entails.
Complacency is an open highway to failure. God can sometimes look like the unyielding judge. Jesus’ agony in the garden typifies the widow’s plight. Although he pledged with his Father to take away the cup of suffering thrice; Christ finally conceded that his Father’s will took precedence over his. The importunate judge had to do likewise. The result of our prayer is never our will but God’s will be done. God’s will, in summary, is justice and freedom for the oppressed.
O God, grant me the grace to endure through faith and prayer to the very end until my cry for help reaches your ears.