29th Sunday Ordinary Time 2013 The Unjust Judge and The Persistent Widow

 Scripture readings for Sunday's Mass are here.


We live in a world where a vast number of people live their daily lives in the shadows of oppression and injustice. Sunday's gospel is not just for widows. The stark facts are headliners every day :- injustices that bruise, break and cripple and crush.  Unjust decisions and circumstances ruin lives and daily life for many often seems to be a series of dead end journeys without a vision of a better future.

But the paradox and the mystery of the death of Christ on the cross show us that dead ends are the means God ordained to give us new life !

There are countless examples of people we know who have trudged through the "valley of the shadow of death," whose faith, despite being often flimsy and tenuous, allowed them the courage to hold on. Their voices echo in our hearts and their spirits are still alive today, urging us to keep going.

There are examples of lives that hold us up when we can't go on and give us encouragement, lives of those who say do not give up when facing the frustration of injustice, who are able to help us find in Christ the strength to go on.

This passage from C.S. Lewis struck me as being relevant to the situation of the unjust judge who in the end only acts in favour of the widow out of self interest rather than out of any respect for her.  

But it reminds me that if we have a perspective that faith in God can change our own selves, then maybe something of that same faith can always help us in our dealings with others.

"It is a serious thing to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. 
All day long we are, in some degree helping each other to one or the other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. 
There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations - these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat.
 But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit - immortal horrors or everlasting splendours."
~ C.S. Lewis


Image source


Click here for a fine reflection on the Gospel of the Persistent Widow.

and another excellent reflection on the Gospel.

And yet another one here.

I ask for just one miracle this weekend:
that I will no longer believe the impossible is.

That I will find the faith to believe
that liberation will come
for those who are imprisoned by their own
- or another’s -
fear and judgement.

That I will find the faith to believe
that the most intractable minds can be changed
– even my own.

That I will find the faith to believe
a different world will be born
from the empty hells of this one.

That I won’t stop living for the end
of all that would destroy us.

Prayer above from the excellent website Hold This Space

Image source and reflections on Gospel

And here's a brilliant and upbeat video taken from Facebook today from "somewhere in rural Uganda." You need to watch it through to the end for their final message. More details here

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