Saturday, November 16, 2013

When the Son of Man Comes, Will He Find Faith?

Jesus told his disciples a parable
about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.
He said, “There was a judge in a certain town
who neither feared God nor respected any human being.
And a widow in that town used to come to him and say,
‘Render a just decision for me against my adversary.’
For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought,
‘While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being,
because this widow keeps bothering me
I shall deliver a just decision for her
lest she finally come and strike me.’”
The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says.
Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones
who call out to him day and night?
Will he be slow to answer them?
I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily.
But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”  Luke 18:1-8

Consider how easy it is to get impatient with a person who unjustly ignores our need when they are in a position to help us get our need met. Consider how irritating it is when after several of our best attempts, we are treated with contempt and cold-heartedness. There is some huge disconnect between my human need and that person's human capacity.

Now consider who it is who teaches us this parable. Consider that it concerns praying to God and making our concerns known to Him.

Consider that this God has been actively pursuing and forming a people for ages unknown. Consider that for almost two thousand years, this God has descended into the hands of priests on altars around the world. Consider all the graces of baptism and all the other sacraments He has poured out. Consider His Word which has resounded daily from the time it was prayed "Hear O Israel, the Lord is God, the Lord is One."

There's patience.

That patient flood of giving awaits a response from us that is not cold-hearted or filled with contempt. That work of God draws us out of our self-focus, out of our personal empire of indifference to Reality.

"Faith on the earth" means that we know there is Something bigger than ourselves that has loved us into existence, and we bow before this Love. This is the only way we learn who we really are.

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