Beloved People of Divine Savior:
The widow in today’s Gospel was a woman of prayer. Through and because of prayer she realized who she was in God’s eyes and accepted the responsibility to see that her needs were taken care, especially given that a judge was not inclined to do so. That she was so determined is underscored by the fact that, in the time of Jesus, a widow was likely to have little or no legal standing. Depending on circumstances, she was to one degree or another dependent on the good will of others.
She wasn’t about to sit by and wait for someone to take up her cause. She decided to do it herself. We don’t know what the issue was, but it doesn’t make any difference. We know that today many widows are cheated or conned out of money and property. We know women who are used in various ways to profit others. While we realize there is nothing wrong with seeking others to help in situations of being used, abused or taken advantage of, our mission is to create a society in which all people can experience being treated with the dignity granted to us by our Creator God.
Whom does the widow symbolize? Whom else but God? God will not tire of calling us to see that people are treated with the dignity and respect that is due to God’s beloved creation. Throughout the entire Bible, God takes the side of the poor, the downtrodden and the neglected. God has always had a special place for widows, orphans and aliens. We can see very clearly how today God is calling out to us to find ways of treating with appropriate dignity the people that come to us seeking asylum. We realize that this is a very complex situation and there are no easy answers except that we are called to “secure the rights of His (God’s) chosen ones who call out to him (us) day and night.”
When the Gospel asks if God will be slow to answer, the privilege is ours to say that we will act with the greatest efficiency in working together to see to the needs of those who look to us to make known the goodness and kindness of God our Savior.
The question that ends today’s Gospel, “will the Son of Man find faith on earth?” is posed for us to respond to by the way we accept the responsibility and privilege to make real the love of God for all people. Part of our prayer life, as our second reading makes clear, is to realize that “all Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” One way to make Scripture useful is to allow it to empower us to be competently equipped for every good work.
The Scriptures call us to collaborate with God in bringing about here on earth what we believe is the activity of heaven. We have the power and the privilege to create the greatest degree of peace, honor, respect and wholesomeness possible. Unlike the texture of our first reading which describes regional gods, we can teach the world that all that exists is the result of the creative genius of our all-loving God. We allow the sacred Scriptures to empower us with the wisdom to bring healing to all the hurting.
~ Fr. Roman