Luk 18:1 Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart.
Luk 18:2 He said, "In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. 3 In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, 'Grant me justice against my opponent.' 4 For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, 'Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.'" 6 And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? 8 I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"
Jesus tells of a corrupt judge who had “no fear of God and no respect for anyone”. In terms of the culture in which Jesus tells this story, a widow would have little to no chance of being heard: she was among the marginalized who would not add status or political value to his efforts – and so he refused to grant her justice.
This not really an unusual story: human society is plagued by corruption and injustice. And sadly the legal profession, the police, and the judiciary are as susceptible to corruption as any other institutions of civil society. Jesus-followers are challenged not to give up in the pursuit of justice, but, like the persistent widow of Luke 18, we are to to keep bothering the powerful until justice is achieved.
Ordinary 29 / Pentecost +22
51 Servants of Christ
The Scripture passage for the day is drawn from Reuben Job and Norman Shawchuck, A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and other Servants, (Nashville, The Upper Room 1983), 311.
This reflection is from my own devotional exercises for the day.