29th Sunday in O.T. (SSVP USA)

Francisco Javier Fernández ChentoHomilies and reflections, Year CLeave a Comment

Author: Kieran Kneaves, DC · Year of first publication: 2016 · Source: The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Council of the United States.
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Gospel: (Luke 18:1-8)

Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. He said, “There was a judge in a certain town who neither feared God nor respected any human being. And a widow in that town used to come to him and say, ‘Render a just decision for me against my adversary.’ For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought, ‘While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me.” The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says. Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?


Both weariness and persistence are things we can all relate and connect to with little difficulty. Sometimes when we are most weary it’s simply persistence in getting the task finished, ending the workday, or keeping a goal in mind that gets us through. Persistence. Tenacity. Stubbornness. Stick-to-itiveness. In this gospel it is the widow’s persistence that eventually wins her justice. Because God is just and concerned for the rights of the downtrodden, persistent prayer always leads to justice. But for many, setting aside any definite time for prayer during the day may seem all but impossible. Persistence in praying “always” might need to take the form in our lives of developing the habit of being aware of God’s abiding presence and blessings even in our busyness. The place and manner of prayer aren’t nearly so important as the fact that we pray—“always and without ceasing.” (Living Liturgy, p. 228)

Vincentian Meditation:

Sometimes I imagine that the reason of God’s delay in answering our prayers is that He wants to make us ready to accept what He desires to give us. Often we ask God for favors with our heads but not with our hearts. At other times we ask God for favors with our hearts but not our heads. He desires us to ask with both our hearts and our heads. Prayer must always be an expression of the love that is in us for God, for His world, for His Church and for those who have so much less that we have, namely, His poor. (McCullen, Deep Down Things, p.143)

Discussion: (Share your thoughts after a moment of silence)

How have you prayed with “your heart and your head?”

Closing Prayer:

For the grace to bring God’s blessing on those who are suffering,
Lord, help us to pray with our heart and our head.

For the grace to bring God’s justice to the rights of the downtrodden,
Lord, help us to pray with persistence and faith.


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