For Saturday of the Thirty-Second Ordinary Week of the Church Year
Two weeks from today will be the last day of the Church calendar year.
As the Lord comes to us in his Gospel during these final days, he speaks often of the end of time when he will return to judge the living and the dead, and to give vindication to his chosen ones.
Today he says he will look for and recognize his chosen ones by their faith.
We can express our faith in words, as we do in the Creed.
However, the Creed and our faith are dead in us unless they at least begin to cost us in the way we live, the attitudes we maintain, the decisions we make and the actions we carry out.
We need to cultivate a living faith that the Lord will find worthy of vindicating at the end.
Today he tells us this comes about through persistent and relentless PRAYER, never losing heart, but fearing God and having regard for our fellow men.
Today the Lord gives the example of a complaining widow who dares to risk provoking a judge to anger.
She dares to cause him annoyance and discomfort.
She is daring, persistent and relentless.
Such prayer is not easy or comfortable, or comforting.
Like the complaining widow, prayer recognizes nothing has more value for us than to receive vindication from God.
Prayer dares to stand before God who has the right to turn a deaf ear and to refuse.
As we pray, we are mindful that God made us out of nothing, and, if he does not act for us, we have and are nothing.
Prayer presses the case like a widow making a display of her poverty.
Prayer unveils its own emptiness before God.
“Give us THIS day our daily bread.”
Give us NOW what will satisfy us FOREVER.
If God does not act, we lose everything.
On the other hand, if we do not stand up to press the case he will not force the issue— BUT NEITHER WILL HE DISMISS THE CASE IN THE END.
We heard him ask us today, “When the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
A life of prayer and faith hands itself over to the work and the judgment of God.
A life of prayer and faith finds its deepest source and highest goal here in the Lord’s Eucharist.
Here in his true flesh and blood Christ hands himself over for us.
He hands himself over to the work and the judgment of his Father.
Here in the real presence of his own relentless persistence unto death, we receive from Christ the offer of a judgment of justice, vindication and holiness from his Father.
Here in the breaking and outpouring of Christ himself, he makes each of us whole.
In his breaking and outpouring of himself he offers us the fullness of our human integrity together with the fullness of his own DIVINE INTEGRITY.
We have only to unveil our emptiness to begin seeing the wealth of God’s provident mercy.
That is the Good News, the Gospel as Mary puts it.
He looks on the lowliness of his servant.
He who is the Mighty One has done great things to me.
He fills the starving with His own Goodness.