29th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C - 16/10/2022 - Gospel: Luke 18: 1-8
Inner Voice
The parable is about a poor widow who persists in pleading with the corrupt judge to give her justice. The powerful corrupt judge knows what he does for her is wrong and corrupt, and yet he follows that path because it pleases him. He is lord of his own. Because he has neither fear of God nor respect for man; he places personal interest above justice. The poor widow knows the unjust judge cares for nothing else, except his own interest. She continues coming to him pleading for her justice. The unjust judge has everything: power and wealth, prestige; while the poor widow has nothing. What she holds dear is justice which the unjust judge took away from her. He himself cares for his own interest and is free to exercise it. The poor widow disturbs the judge's happiness by regularly coming to him. Justice and peace are inseparable, the poor widow demands justice so she can have peace. Her pleading to the corrupt judge makes him feel that he will not have happiness unless he gives her justice. There is no peace for unjust dealing because peace and happiness go hand in hand. Where there is happiness; there is peace, and where there is peace; happiness follows. The corrupt judge confesses that he has no fear for anyone but that he is lacking happiness. For his own sake, he grants the widow justice. The judge should uphold the law and have respect for justice but he doesn't; the poor widow who knows little about the laws and yet she holds justice dearly. Jesus asks His audience not to follow the unjust path of the judge, but to imitate the poor widow- persistence in demanding for justice.

God's justice is universal and permanent; while human justice is temporary, indifferent and confined to an area. Human justice depends on individuals and the political system of each country.

The parable begins with the call to pray continually. We need to pray to listen to the voice of our conscience. This voice is soft and constant. God knows what we need but we need to pray to know God's will. The Lord's Prayer tells the universal God's will for mankind, but God calls us as an individual, and prayer helps us to respond to that call with love. The persistence of our prayer speaks of the depth of our heart's desire for God's love. It helps us to be faithful to God's will and God's justice. Lacking prayer, we fall into our human path and that leads us to follow the way of the unjust judge. Faith manifests itself through actions and praying is an act of faith because we open our true selves to God to receive God's grace which purifies our soul. Jesus told us to pray always and never lose heart. Losing heart happens when we think our prayer is unanswered which is not the purpose of prayer. Jesus teaches His disciples to pray for God's will be done, not ours.

We can personify the parable, acknowledging that there is an unjust judge in each one of us. We are biased and often in favour of what benefits us in our judgments. We tend to be easy and relaxed in what we love, and are hard or critical in what we dislike. The poor widow is the personification of our inner voice, our conscience. It works like the poor widow in the parable. It persists in demanding we to follow God's justice. We are happy and have peace when we do things right and just; we worry and are even shaken when our dealing is evil and corrupt. Our conscience continues to remind us to reconcile any unjust dealing, and this restores peace, and strengthens our relationships with God and others. The corrupt judge in the parable confesses that the widow's voice continues to upset him. Her voice awakens his inner voice and that troubles him greatly. Refusing to follow God's justice means having no faith in Jesus.