Does this ring a bell with you? I believe that there is something of most of us in that reaction to another “Special” Sunday and collection. Faced with our own personal problems and those of our own parish, it is not always easy to rise to the challenges that the Church and the Gospel place before us.
Today, with all our sisters and brothers throughout the world we are asked to remember that we are called to share in the Church’s mission of proclaiming the Good News of Christ to the ends of the world.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus exhorts his disciples to pray continually and never to grow discouraged, never to lose heart. The judge is approached by a widow – she represents the powerless ones. She has right on her side. But the Judge is not interested in the rights of a powerless widow. However, when she persists in her plea, he relents, but only to get rid of her. The message is intended for the disciples who are faced with suffering and persecution. Perseverance is the key in almost all situations.
In the first reading, Moses also had to be persistent in his prayer of intercession for his people. As long as he kept his arms raised in prayer, all was well in the battle. Perseverance, persistent pleading seems to be the message that is coming through loudly in the scriptures today.
Moses realized that there was something important for the future of his people at stake. The Widow thought very strongly about her matter of Justice. Both continued asking, demanding. Neither would take “no” for an answer. Perhaps there are powerless people for whom we need to take up the cause?
Perhaps there are people on whose behalf we should be the nuisance that will not go away until justice is done? We think immediately of the Christians in Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Sudan, and northern part of Nigeria, along with many others who need our support. St Paul tells us, “Proclaim the message and welcome or unwelcome, insist on it,” we have to recognize that we are bearers of the Good News. This task very often means that we are going to have to not just “insist” but also Persist.