Trusting All Works for Good

10-20-2019Weekly Reflection

“Render a just decision for me against my adversary.” Today’s Gospel features a persistent widow who ekes out justice from a notoriously cold-hearted judge. Why does she win the day? “Because the widow keeps bothering me.” Jesus’ recommendation to the disciples is to be persistent in prayer, because surely God the Father is far more attuned to their needs than this judge. If only it were that easy, right? We’ve all experienced the unanswered prayer, the silence after our cries. When this continues, sometimes it can be difficult to have faith in God or believe He answers prayers. It can be easy to lapse into a sense of His distance. We want Him to do something “fair,” which — in our limited view — typically means that something works out in our favor.

There are, of course, many legitimate cries for justice. We live in a fallen world filled with flawed human beings. We hurt each other, sometimes grievously, and our efforts to remake the world in our image can result in unjust, inhumane systems. Faced with the problem of evil, we may wonder how God will “secure the rights of his chosen ones.” Sometimes, He may well seem “slow to answer them.”

In the face of these very real questions, it’s important to recall the words of the prophet Isaiah, that God’s thoughts “are not [our] thoughts.” His ways are not our ways. God respects the freedom He has given us. When we see what free will has wrought, perhaps we question God’s better judgment! Yet somehow, we hear that He mysteriously works all things for our good. No matter what situation we find ourselves in, we are always free to love. We are invited to be persistent in our prayer, to continue bringing our concerns before God in trusting surrender. We are invited to love well in the circumstances we find ourselves in, to be a light in the darkness. No matter when — or if — our prayers are answered the way we would like, we are nonetheless invited to witness to “faith on earth.”

 ¡Él Responderá!

La liturgia de este domingo se centra en la oración y en cómo no debemos desanimarnos jamás de orar ni de insistir a Dios con nuestras plegarias. El Papa Francisco nos ayuda con los siguientes consejos e insiste en la confianza que se debe tener al orar: “Porque ninguna oración queda sin ser escuchada, muchas de nuestras oraciones no obtienen ningún resultado. ¿Cuántas veces hemos pedido y no hemos obtenido, llamado y encontrado una puerta cerrada? [Sin embargo], podemos estar seguros de que Dios responderá. La única incerteza se debe a los tiempos, pero no tenemos dudas de que Él responderá. Tal vez sea necesario insistir durante toda la vida, pero Él responderá. Nos lo ha prometido”.

El relato de Jesús sobre la viuda y el juez afirma lo que el Papa Francisco nos asegura; Dios siempre escucha nuestros ruegos y da lo que conviene a la salvación de cada persona. “¿Acaso Dios no hará justicia a sus elegidos si claman a él día y noche, mientras él deja que esperen? Yo les aseguro que les hará justicia.” (Lucas 18:7-8). Reflexionar en la justicia en términos bíblicos es hablar de la misericordia infinita de Dios. Entonces, para crecer en justicia y misericordia los unos para con los otros, se necesita un profundo crecimiento en la vida de oración. Para un dialogo y encuentro profundo con Dios ¿qué se debe hacer? La Santa Teresa de Calcuta decía que: “Sin un corazón lleno de amor y sin unas manos generosas, es imposible curar a un hombre enfermo de soledad. El amor es un fruto que madura en todas las estaciones y que se encuentra al alcance de todas las manos”.

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