· The theme of the liturgy is prayer, never get tired be persevering.
· However, like all the parables that the Lord tells us have more than one interpretation, more than one message.
· In the Gospel we read also that the widow asks for justice, her prayer is very concrete, she asks the judge to render a just decision for her.
· Our world is full of brothers and sisters who day and night cry out for justice, to be treated as human beings, to enjoy the same benefits as the rest of the population. Let us think about situations close to us, all those who do not have legal status in the countries where they live, and ask to be accepted officially in the country.
· In a commentary the author asks this question: when we approach the Lord to pray, do we discover in the heart of our Father the suffering of so many brothers and sisters, do we hear the cry that comes from all the parts of the earth asking for justice, equality, brotherhood and solidarity?
· Or on the contrary our prayer is only about us, or being worried of what we call "spiritual", forgetting that the Son of God became flesh to live among us.
FIRST READING Exodus 7:8-13
ü This is an interesting reading from the book of Exodus
ü The effectiveness of Moses prayer is based on having his hands raised. i .
ü So when he gets tired he has to be helped by two men.
ü This is what we read. Let us try to discover the meaning of this.
ü The support Moses receives may mean also the communal prayer as Jesus said "when two or three... I am there with them.
ü The effectiveness of our prayer does not depend on us, or on those who support us, but in the presence of Jesus, the only Son of the Father who prays with us and is always heard by the Father.
ü The fact that Joshua won the battle destroying Amelek, is not the message the Lord wants us to get from this reading. The message is the perseverance in prayer, not the destruction of the enemy because Jesus himself taught to love our enemies.
ü Jesus does not destroy us for the evil we do, but he allows evil to destroy him and in so doing he wins evil forever, saving us all and earning life eternal for us.
ü It depends on us to accept this salvation which he has already accomplish for all of us.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM: Ps 121: 1-2,3-4, 5-6, 7-8
OUR HELP IS FROM THE LORD, WHO MADE HEAVEN AND EARTH
I lift up my eyes toward the mountain
whence shall help come to me?
My help is from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
May he not suffer your foot to slip
may he slumber not who guards you
indeed he neither slumbers nor sleeps
the guardian of Israel
The Lord is your guardian, the Lord is your shade
he is beside you at your right hand
the sun shall not harm you by day
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will guard you from all evil
he will guard your life
the Lord will guard your coming and your going
both now and forever.
§ The psalmist sings that his help comes from the Lord.
§ And, in the verses that come after this sentence, he describes the protection from God with beautiful images: your foot will not slip... he does not sleep... his shade protects you...
§ What a beautiful way to describe trust in the unconditional and tender love of our God and Father.
GOSPEL Luke 18:1-8
Luke tells us one of the parables of Jesus which is found only in his Gospel
As it is the case with all the parables we need to find the real meaning, not the meaning of the material words.
There are two characters: the corrupt judge who has all power, and the woman who is powerless and suffers injustice from her oppressors.
As the parable unfolds this roles are changed, the judge loses his power in front of the insistence of the woman, who ends up having power over the judge.
A judge should always dictate judge sentences, this is his mission.
Thus there is nothing worse than a corrupt judge. Amos in his book speaks about that.
Power always corrupts those who have it, no matter what kind of power we might have: in society, in politics, in finances, at work, in the church, at home, in the school.... Power intoxicates us, like wine when we drink it in excess.
But the woman, who like any poor does not have anything else to lose, comes over and over bothering the judge until the day when he imparts justice to her, so that she will not come anymore.
Jesus tells us that if this unjust judge is able to make justice to the woman, God will do much more for us.
But he does not want to compare the behavior of the judge with God's behavior.
What Jesus wants to teach us with this parable is the perseverance in prayer without getting tired.
The insistence in prayer is not because God does not listen to us at the first time, it is because we are not ready, our heart is still hard and we do not allow the Lord to transform us, we take our time to accept his action in us.
The more our heart is closed to be soften, longer will be the time to receive what we ask for.
It is not God who takes time, it is us.
SECOND READING 2 Tm 3:14-4,2.
v We continue listening to what the author of the letter tells to his disciple Timothy:
§ remain faithful to what you have learned
§ remember what you have known of the Scriptures since your childhood
§ Scripture is capable of giving you wisdom for salvation, through faith in Jesus Christ.
§ All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching
§ I charge you to proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient, using all the means at your hand.
. as for me, everything was to cry and to pray day and night to my God and most blessed Mary to deign to enlighten them so we could go out at once from the situation. I said to myself what will they say at home if I make them spend uselessly and I will not profess? And what will
Prioress say except that all is a fiction and a lie? How I can repay her
delicacies with such ingratitude? So many proofs of love especially in those
last days that she was overflowing with joy (foreseeing me already professed,
as she said, for the great desires she had, that I do not know why she loved me
so much) every loving expression in her was for me like a dart penetrating my
soul thinking of the pain that my separation would give her, because as for me,
the Lord was already giving me grace for any sacrifice. So I said to God:
“This, Lord, makes me multiply my tears and nag you more with my pleas.” Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian
Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 103. Mo.
At each town I preached in, the first half of the service was marked by persecutions and calumnies by the wicked of the town. Halfway through the mission these people would be converted and everyone would sing my praises. Then the government and the higher officials would begin persecuting me. This is why my bishop made me go from one town to another town far away. In this way, the government's persecution of me became something of a joke because by the time a warrant had been put out against me in one province of Catalonia, I had already finished the mission there and gone off to another province. And by the time they got around to persecuting me there, I was already off to yet another province. Despite all the government's efforts to pursue and apprehend me, they were never able to succeed. St. Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography, 457.
CLARET, Antonio María Claret, Autobiografía.
PAGOLA, José A. Following in the Footsteps of Jesus. Meditations on the Gospels for Year C.
PARIS, María Antonia, Autobiografía
RAVASI, Gianfranco, Según las Escrituras, Año C.