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Liturgical day: Sunday 29th (C) in Ordinary Time

Gospel text (Lk 18,1-8): Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should pray continually and not lose heart. He said, «In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor people. In the same town was a widow who kept coming to him, saying: ‘Defend my rights against my opponent’. For a time he refused, but finally he thought: ‘Even though I neither fear God nor care about people, this widow bothers me so much I will see that she gets justice; then she will stop coming and wearing me out’».

And Jesus explained, «Listen to what the evil judge says. Will God not do justice for his chosen ones who cry to him day and night even if He delays in answering them? I tell you, He will speedily do them justice. Yet, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?».

«They should pray continually and not lose heart»

Fr. Pere CALMELL i Turet
(Barcelona, Spain)

Today, Jesus reminds us that «we should pray continually and not lose heart» (Lk 18:1). He teaches with his deeds and with his words. St. Luke appears before us as the evangelist of Jesus' prayers. Quite so! In some of the scenes, where the authors inspired in the Holy Scriptures depict Jesus' life, only Luke presents him in the act of praying.

During Jesus' Baptism in the river Jordan, when choosing the Twelve and at the Transfiguration. When a disciple asks him «Lord, teach us to pray» (Lk 11:1), from his lips comes out the Lord's Prayer. When He announces his negations to Peter: «I have prayed that your own faith may not fail» (Lk 22:32). At the crucifixion: «Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, they know not what they do’». (Lk 23:34). When He dies in the Cross: «Father, into your hands I commit my spirit» (Lk 23:46). After the description of all evangelists, the same Lord is a model of the petition prayer, especially at the Gethsemane garden.

—I could point out how will I raise my heart towards God while in different activities, because it is not the same intellectual work than manual labor; to be in a church than to be in the sports field or at home; to drive in the city or in a turnpike; it is not the same our petition prayer than our gratitude; adoration than pleading forgiveness; early in the morning than late, after a whole day's work. St. Josemaría Escrivá gives us a recipe for the petition prayer: «He who gets more is he who pesters closer... Therefore, draw closer to God: try hard to be a saint».

The Virgin Mary is a model of prayer, also of petition prayer. At Cana of Galilee she was able to advance Jesus' timing, the time of the miracles, with her petition, full of love for those newly weds and full of trust in her Son.