Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pester God? (Lk 18: 1-8)

The Gospel this Sunday may lead to the thought that if we only continue to bombard God with our petitions He will grow weary and give in to our pleadings.  The judge in Jesus' parable that the Gospel features today does just that.  He is confronted with a widow who constantly goes to him, demanding a just decision.  Over and over she approaches him.  He grows tired of her pleading and demands and after a prolonged period of time the judge gives in to the widow and renders a just decision in favor of the woman.  He did so out of fear that if he would not the woman would actually strike him.

To really understand the words of our Savior, it is imperative to read on in the Gospel.  Jesus' point is not to pester God with our needs, although constant prayer to the Father is also a must.  Rather, the point of Jesus' parable is to persist in faith.  Do not give up believing in God and His ability to guide us through His Spirit to Himself. 

Faith requires much persistence.  We are constantly surrounded by events and even people who threaten our faith.  Even the strongest among us has moments of weakened faith because of our human nature.  One of the most prominent examples of this in recent years was that of Mother Theresa.  For years, she was in distress where her faith was concerned.  God was silent.  No matter how often she prayed, no matter what she did to gain His attention, He remained quiet.  Yet, Mother Theresa knew this too was a gift from God.  She used His silence to deepen her faith.  She did so through constant prayer, a daily holy hour, and continual working with the destitute and impoverished with the poor of India and the rest of the world.  Her persistence was rewarded later in her life as God once again began communicating more directly His love for her.

We must do the same in our lives.  We cannot pester God to do anything!   That is not the nature of our relationship with Him.  But what we can do is continually seek ways to develop an even deeper faith in Him.  Nothing we do of our own accord can achieve this.  We need the aid of the Holy Spirit.  As long as we remain persistent in our faith development, we will continue to grow in our love for God and come to appreciate the things He has granted us.  Our prayers will likely become less petition directed and more thanksgiving directed.  In living our lives this way we will develop an even more intimate relationship with the Father.

Pray always but realize that we must have faith always regardless of the circumstances of our lives!  If we do this, we can then assure Jesus that when He comes again, He will indeed find faith on earth!