Beginning with a few moments of quiet.
The intention is to open yourself to the presence of God within you.
Find a comfortable space and when ready, take three deep breaths. As you breathe in feel your lungs filling all the way up, when they are full slowly release your breath and feel your lungs emptying out fully. Repeat this three times.
Now return to breathing normally and take a few moments to reflect on:
- Where in the past week did I encounter God in my life?
- Where in the past week did I inhibit God in my life?
If you like to have some quiet music playing during this click below.
and when you are ready read the Gospel
… a familiar story, and when we encounter a familiar story we can be inclined to hear the version we know rather than actually hearing the story. Try to listen to it as if for the first time, hearing something new in it…
….. the Gospel Luke 18:11-8
Jesus told his disciples a parable about the need to pray continually and never lose heart. ‘There was a judge in a certain town’ he said ‘who had neither fear of God nor respect for man. In the same town there was a widow who kept on coming to him and saying, “I want justice from you against my enemy!” For a long time he refused, but at last he said to himself, “Maybe I have neither fear of God nor respect for man, but since she keeps pestering me I must give this widow her just rights, or she will persist in coming and worry me to death.”’
And the Lord said ‘You notice what the unjust judge has to say? Now will not God see justice done to his chosen who cry to him day and night even when he delays to help them? I promise you, he will see justice done to them, and done speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find any faith on earth?’
Reflect on the Gospel
This is not an especially difficult Gospel to interpret. The imagery is very straight forward. Sean Goan offers the following commentary on it:
In this gospel we return to the themes of faith and prayer. The widow is put before us as an example of perseverance – she simply will not be put off and finally the unjust judge gives in. Clearly Jesus is not saying God is like the unjust judge, a point he makes in the conclusion, but he is asking how many people would be willing to persevere as the woman did.SEAN GOAN – Let the Reader Understand, Year C
Sit quietly now for a few moments and allow the images created by hearing the Gospel to emerge.
Use some quietening music again if you wish.
Ask yourself, how is this Gospel speaking to my situation in my life in this moment.
And the following is a reflection offered by José A Pagola.
The parable of the widow and the unscrupulous judge, an open story like many others, can elicit different reactions from listeners. Luke says it is a call to pray without losing heart. But it is also an invitation to trust God who will do justice for those whoJOSÉ A PAGOLA – Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus, Year C
cry out to him day and night.
In biblical tradition the widow is the supreme example of a person who is alone and helpless. What she asks for is nothing fanciful. All she demands is justice. It is a cry in keeping with what Jesus says to his followers: seek the kingdom of God and his justice.
Why does our discourse with God not prompt us to heed at least the cry of those who suffer injustice and appeal to us in a thousand ways: Give us justice. If, when we pray, we are truly in God’s presence, why are we not able to hear more clearly the insistent
demands for justice that reach the heart of the Father?
The parable challenged all believers. Will we continue to nurture our private devotions while forgetting those who suffer? Will we go on praying to God to put him at the service of our interests without bothering about the injustices in the world? What if
to pray meant precisely to forget ourselves and to seek, with God, a more just world for all?
Does this support your reflection on the Gospel passage or not? If so in what way and if not why not? Sit with that and ask what is this Gospel calling you to be or to change this week?
Close the time of Prayer with the Our Father
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Take a moment now to bring to mind those you want to share peace with, family, friends, those where your relationship is broken.
Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil,
graciously grant peace in our days,
that, by the help of your mercy,
we may be always free from sin
and safe from all distress,
as we await the blessed hope
and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen
Fr. Kieran O’Mahony offers a scriptural analysis on our Gospel for this weekend in written or on video.
The following prayer is from the Center for Action and Contemplation community. I invite you to read it yourself below or to join with Richard Rohr in praying it (see also http://www.cac.org)
Loving God, you fill all things with a fullness and hope that we can never comprehend. Thank you for leading us into a time where more of reality is being unveiled for us all to see. We pray that you will take away our natural temptation for cynicism, denial, fear and despair. Help us have the courage to awaken to greater truth, greater humility, and greater care for one another. May we place our hope in what matters and what lasts, trusting in your eternal presence and love. Listen to our hearts’ longings for the healing of our suffering world. Please add your own intentions . . . Knowing, good God, you are hearing us better than we are speaking, we offer these prayers in all the holy names of God. Amen.