This gospel reading presents us with the stark choice facing us all. Are we people of faith who amid all the troubles of the world know that we are in the hands of God? Or are we faithless and despairing? When the Son of Man comes, will he indeed find faith on the earth?
The widow who prays for justice against her enemy reflects the plight of so many millions who cry out to God to put right the injustices of the world. The human yearning that the life of all people be respected and fostered is deeply felt by Christians.
Christians know that God has entrusted to creation, and to human beings, the awesome gift of freedom, which has both wonderful and devastating consequences. Freedom makes possible acts of selfless heroism, courage and generosity, the finest expressions of that human love which reflects the love of God. Freedom also makes possible acts of unutterable cruelty and hatred, which are equally the free choice of human beings.
The prayer of the widow represents the anguish of so many millions who cry out for justice and a resolution of the problems of the world. Amid such widespread distress Christians point to the overriding loving kindness of God, who ‘will see justice done’. The reality of God’s loving kindness is seen repeatedly in the loving human responses to the troubles of this world, and above all in the self-giving love of Christ, made present at each Eucharist.
Faith tells us that we are constantly held by God. It is crucial to confront the power of self-obsession and disbelief with the power of loving kindness, faith and prayer.
Do I trust in the overriding goodness of God amid all the troubles of the world?
Do I blame God for suffering and pain?
Let us pray for faith to inspire our words and deeds.
Let us ask for the gift of perseverance in prayer.