The Young Man at the Tomb Holding Fast to Each Other Amen to What We Are The Lord, Our Justice Claiming Our True Name What We Expect The Comma Keeping the Demons Quiet The Dove in the Heavens Thankfulness and Generosity Speaking to Jesus A Promise to Simeon and Us A Sign for You The Voice in the Wilderness How Annunciations Work The Least, the Lost, and the Last Waiting for Christ’s Return Attire for the Kingdom The Cross in a Violent World Come to the Banquet Today Anointing of the Sick Finding the Eternal Change and Continuity Paying Attention The First and the Last Using Bad Consequences How to Talk to God Ready to Forgive Facing the Serpent Priority and Mutuality Three Meals a Day Searching for Pearls The Power of Service Why Walk on Water? The Day Jesus Was Wrong The Promise of the New Name The Two Feet of Love Facing the Hour Looking Backwards Touching the Leper Touching the Leper Misunderstanding God Doing It Poorly God’s Midwife A Name for the Holy Spirit The Coffin So We Do Not Have to Touch Being Better to Each Other Earthquakes and Galilee Lazarus as a Disciple Seeing More Learning from Peter Imitating God’s Holiness Weekly Bulletin 3/2/14 Imitating God’s Holiness Weekly Bulletin 3/9/14 Choosing a Master Goodness in Temptation A Pinch of Salt Teaching the Commandments The Freedom of the Baptist Christ’s Broken Body Faith Is More than Looking The Twelve Days of Christmas God’s Timing Resurrection and Transformation The Good That Is Gone Zacchaeus Moments God in the Smallest Things Trust and Community When God’s Commands Do Not Fit The Faith of Honeybees Choosing Hell Following the Dishonest Steward The Ninety-Nine The Freedom to Let Go Beyond Politics The Balance of Humility Not Fearing Fire The Beauty Remains To Welcome as a Samaritan A Moveable Peace Bring On the Women! The Two Sides of Bread Waiting for the Ticket The Groove of the Spirit Jesus Is Not Like Congress A Divine Partnership What Kind of Love Is This? Boston Bombings and God Fishing and Forgiveness A New Kind of Joy Letting Christ Out The Sign of Inversion Our Doodling God A Parable of Love and Jealousy Not Enough Time The Ordinary and the Transcendent The Battle with the Devil God Is Not Kidding The Power of Love We Are the Body of Christ The Arc of Life Waiting for the Final Gift Displacement at Christmas Incarnating God Presenting the Mess Red Cake and Lima Beans A Call to Serve Beyond Asking Jesus’ Commandment Being Ready to Take God in the Foxhole God Is Still Working Adjusting What Is Necessary Learning from the Prophet Amos About Jesus’ Brothers The Most Popular Miracle The Importance of Hunger Eternal Life Influencing Others Finding the Right Proportion Do What You Love Stopping for the Least To Love Irritating People Marriage, Divorce, and Children Asking for More Drinking the Cup Terror in Paris God Will Come Boundaries, Security, and Generosity Feeling Movements of Life A Place to Learn God Uses Small Things Signs of Life When God Says No Christian Optimism From Transition to Call The Long Struggle The Gate of Heaven Common Sense or Hope The Spoiled Son An Oasis for Everyone Jesus’ Last Meal The Curious Omission Finding a Pony Anointing of the Sick A New Commandment After the Ascension Sin and Love The Cross and Joy The Call to Follow A Call for Humility Violence in America Two Thoughts on Prayer Live Today with Thanksgiving An Examined Life The Narrow Gate Serving Ourselves Losing Sheep Using Dishonest Wealth The Door and the Chasm Faith and Duty Distance and More Not Growing Weary Making a Difference Inadequacies and Grace Finding God Facing Turmoil Jesus, Remember Me The Lion and the Lamb Wild Like John Let Go in Love A Wider Christmas The Last Six Miles God’s Big Plan The Remnant The Salt of the Earth Beyond the Ten Commandments Love Your Enemy Focusing Our Worry How Evil Works Our Transfiguration Re-membering Our Lives Our Story If Only The Time for Hope A Second Greeting of Peace The Eucharist and Welcoming Practicing Non-Violence The Work of Forgiveness Why Are You Looking Up at the Sky? The Mystery of Salvation Being Thankful How Is a Burden Light? The Problem with Sparrows Eternal Creation Patient Vigilance Buried Treasure Thinking Again Where You Do Not Want to Go The Courage to Speak Humility and Truth Do Something Good Knowing the Song Acting Against Evil God Will Come What We Can Say Senseless Violence Invitation as a Threat What Belongs to God Two Commands, Side by Side Burdens We May Not See Foolish or Wise Accepting the Consequences Serving the Least Watching for Jesus Camels and Gnats Becoming Smaller The Christmas Barber The Ring of the Kings The Freedom and Faith of John the Baptist Zebedee The Opioid Crisis Approaching, Grasping, Lifting Up What God Intends The Battle with Satan Following Elijah and Moses Standing in Truth A God of Love or Condemnation When Life Turns Not Fully Prepared The Wounds We Carry Selling Onions Son of Encouragement To Love as God Loves Engagement with the World Doubting Disciples Sabbath Avoiding the Diabolical Persistent Hope Speaking the Word Within Us “And Also With You” Capital Punishment I Will Go On Three Wise Choices Will You Also Leave? Show No Partiality Carrying the Cross for Whom? Outside the Lines The Camel and the Needle Ask First for Sight What God Sees Only God The Arc of the Universe Turmoil, Fear, and Dismay The Gift of the Desert A Punch for the Holidays Politics and Religion Jesus Always Understands One Body God’s Love The Call Blessings and Woes Imitating God’s Mercy The Blind Leading the Blind The Devil’s Agenda Looking Closer, Looking Beyond Accepting God’s Love Mob Thinking The Easter Egg Fishing with Uncle Mike Loving Like Jesus God’s in Love with This World

Not Growing Weary

October 16, 2016 Click on the left end of the black bar to play/pause

October 16, 2016
Luke 18:1-8
Fr. George Smiga

What a peculiar parable Jesus presents us today in the gospel. A widow keeps going to a judge in order to secure a verdict, but he is unwilling to grant it. But because she keeps coming and wears him down, he gives her what she wants. What is the meaning of this parable, and, more importantly, how does it apply to our lives?

It all depends on how you interpret the characters in the story. Usually we see the widow as good and simply seeking what is right. This is a logical interpretation because the scriptures are full of devout widows who seek God’s will. But not all widows are the same. And this parable gives us no information about this particular widow or the validity of her cause. Therefore, it is possible for us to imagine that what the widow is seeking in the parable is not justice but retaliation. Her request to the judge, which in our translation is: “Render a just decision for me against my adversary,” can just as easily be translated: “Render vengeance for me against my adversary.” From this perspective the widow is asking the judge to help her get even and punish someone she does not like. The judge knows that this is wrong. For a long time he holds out against her request. But over time she wears him down and he gives her what she wants.

How does this parable apply to us? We are to see ourselves as the judge. We are people who try to do what is right and avoid what is evil. But we also know that people and circumstances can wear us down until we give in. Why do we give in? Here the parable is very helpful, for it tells us that this judge neither feared God nor had respect for any human. So here is a judge trying to do the right thing on his own without the help of others. This parable tells us that trying to do the right thing alone is dangerous. If we do not call upon the help of God and others, it is likely that life will wear us down and we will throw in the towel.

We know that we should be patient with others. But our pre-school children have so much energy and so many demands that they wear us down and in time we explode. We know that we have a responsibility for our aging parents, but their needs multiply time and again, and we begin to wonder whether we can carry the burden. This parable tells us that we cannot be patient people on our own. We need to reach out to God and to others. We need to say to our spouse, “Speak to me. I’ve been living in a four-year old world too long. I need adult conversation.” We need to say to a friend, “Take me to lunch. I need a break from the responsibilities I bear.”

In a larger sense, we know how many things are wrong with our world and should be changed. We understand the effects of poverty, drugs, and crime. But if we attempt to correct these things on our own, it is likely that we will become exhausted. That is why we depend upon the help of others. That is why we have community. This is a particularly fitting truth today as we celebrate our patronal feast. We exist as a parish community so that together we can make a difference. This is why our parish embraces programs of charity and advocacy so that we can join with others and attempt to improve our society.

It is difficult to do the right thing. If we try to do what is right on our own, we, like the judge in the parable, will likely be worn out. But if we call upon the help of God and others, we are more likely to become patient, generous, and just people—disciples who do not grow tired of building the kingdom of God.

Change this in Theme Options
Change this in Theme Options