Kuwait City – 18th, 19th, 20th October 2013
Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio, His Grace Archbishop Petar Rajič
Ex 17:8-13; 2 Tm 3:14-4:2; Lk 18:1-8
Jesus teaches us about the importance of perseverance in prayer, despite the difficulties of life and the delayed replies of God. He takes the example of a dishonest judge who wants to rid himself of an annoying widow who is pestering him for justice. Jesus uses this example of a person’s seeking their own justice in order emphasize that God works in a completely different way. “Will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will vindicate them speedily.” Often times in prayer we seek God’s intervention for our own needs, but experience shows that the Lord does not respond immediately, nor in the way we expect. We then tend to quickly lose the will to pray due to God’s silence and we can get tired and discouraged. But the poor widow of the parable nevertheless believed in justice and also had confidence in the judge, so her plea was answered due to her belief and persistence. Our prayers to God therefore, should not be motivated by a desire to seek our own will, as much as they are a plea to not give up despite the injustices of life and to not lose hope for a better world, which the Lord wants to establish through us. This is why the best prayer to God always remains “Thy will be done”.
When praying, we do not turn to a distant and unavailable person somewhere far away in the sky, but instead to our heavenly Father, who knows us, loves us and counts us among his chosen ones, despite all our sins and weaknesses. Prayer therefore, properly perceived, is not a duty insomuch as a desire and need of the heart, that we truly live in communion with God and closer to one another. Prayer can be compared to love. If you love someone, then you are ready day and night to be with your loved one, to share both the good and the bad, and you never get tired, because you feel good when you are sharing everything together.
In order that our prayers be granted by God, faith and perseverance in prayer are required of us. “But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said: “The fruit of silence is prayer. The fruit of prayer is faith. The fruit of faith is love. The fruit of love is service. The fruit of service is peace!” This can be a reminder to all of us, of the importance of faith and perseverance in prayer.