Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.’”
And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
The woman in today’s Gospel reminds me of every young child I have ever met, determined to get his or her way through sheer determination and the gradual wearing down of exasperated parents. Although we are no longer small children asking for a piece of candy, a new toy, or an extra story at bedtime, the desires of our heart are still things that we should bring to God, who loves us even more than any earthly parent can.
In the Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius invites us to name the grace that we seek, that which we want and desire, at the beginning of each prayer period. In asking for what we desire, though, we must be attentive to God’s answer. Perhaps the grace we are granted may look different than what we expect. A prayer for increased patience might be answered through those people in our lives who irritate us, requiring a greater dose of patience than we knew we contained.
What is the grace that you need from God today? How can you be attentive to the ways that grace may be given to you?
—The Jesuit Prayer team
Seek ye first the kingdom of God
And His righteousness
And all these things shall be added unto you
Man shall not live by bread alone
But by every word
That proceeds from the mouth of God
Ask and it shall be given unto you
Seek and ye shall find
Knock and the door shall be opened unto you
—Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God, © 1972 CCCM Music/Maranatha! Music
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