Readings for October 20, 2019
2 Timothy 3:14-4:2
“When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” To know the answer to Jesus’ pointed question, I would need to know what the Son of Man is hoping to find as evidence of faith. And the answer to that is, of course, in his parable. But the answer is also in the lyrics to a song by the 1970s pop rock group Cheap Trick.
“I want you to want me. I need you to need me. I’d love you to love me. I’m begging you to beg me.” It’s a song of someone desperate for love. God is similarly calling out for our love. We were created in His love, for His love, to love Him. God doesn’t need us in the sense that we are necessary for His survival. Yet He begs for our love. He created us, as St. Ignatius of Loyola said, to “know, love, and serve Him in this life and be happy with Him forever.”
And the widow in Jesus’ parable demonstrated such a love to us. In the readings, the judge neither feared God nor respected any human being, but the widow was not deterred. She humbly sought justice, and was persistent in her attempts to get it from the judge. Finally, he relented, saying “because this widow keeps bothering me, I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me.” And any mother who has heard from her clingy toddler “Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom?” repeated 100 times in succession will understand why the judge did relent.
Is, then, the Son of Man hoping we continually pepper God with “Dad? Dad? Dad?” until He sends us away so not to bother Him?
After all, we are called to a childlike faith (Matthew 18:2-4). And God does want us to be relentless in our faith and in our pursuit of Him, for as Luke wrote, this is “a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.” However, it will never be a bother to God for us to pray to Him. Our perseverance is a recognition of our dependence on God, and evidence of our faith and love for Him.
We are God’s children. He wants us to cling to Him like the toddler clings to their mom. In His desire for us to love Him, He’s begging us to beg Him. Persistence in prayer is love of God with all our heart, all our strength, all our soul, and all our mind. When the Son of Man finds us praying unceasingly to God with everything we’ve got within us, he will find faith on earth.
O Lord my God, I need You. Hear my prayer. O Lord my God, I have faith in You. Hear my prayer. O Lord my God, I love You. Thank You for hearing my prayer. Amen