November 12, 2011 - Memorial of Saint Josaphat, bishop and martyr

Today's Readings

The unjust judge wanted a bribe. Most unjust judges are looking for bribes. Very few, I would suppose, actually like seeing injustice in the world. Perhaps he was just lazy, but, really, how much effort does it take to make a judgment? It is not as if he would have to execute the judgment himself. He just needs to listen to the stories, say a few words, and then hammer his gavel. So I think he wanted a bribe.

He finally makes a decision, not, as this translation suggests, because he was afraid of getting punched in the face, but because he was tired of the widow coming to him every day. He put her off for a while, hoping that she would come offering a bribe, but she never did. Now he decides that it is not worth it. He will make the decision for free, just to get her off his back.

So is God like the unjust judge? No. Jesus’ point is that he is not at all like the unjust judge. God is never weary of listening to us. In fact, he delights in hearing us pray to him. We could never tire God out. The widow can threaten the unjust judge with her constant presence and pleading, but what do we threaten God with, that we would constantly pray? “I am not leaving this church until you answer my prayer.” “Good”, he says.

God is not waiting for a bribe, but he is waiting for faith. He will do his part if we do ours. His part is to give us everything. Our part is to have faith. God will provide, but when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth? Faith is not a human action; it is a gift from God, but we must choose to hold on to the gift. Faith is believing that God will provide what he has promised. Faith means believing that God is neither too weak to bring about what he promised or too fickle to stand by his promise.

God has promised to take care of us. Do we believe him? Sometimes this world causes us to doubt. Sometimes it seems like God is not taking care of someone. There is a lot of suffering in this world. Is there really a just God ruling over it all? I believe there is. I believe independently of my ability to understand.