Dear brothers and sisters,

“Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones

who call out to him day and night?

Will he be slow to answer them? “

(Luke 18:7).

          We have come to understand more deeply now that everything our Lord is teaching us now is intimately tied to His suffering, death and resurrection in Jerusalem. Each story, each parable He is telling, each encounter and conversation He is having while on the way to Jerusalem is somehow preparing us for the Cross.

          This Sunday, our Lord is teaching us about the necessity of “praying always without becoming weary,” (Luke 18:1). This is the manner in which we will express our faith in Him who will go to Jerusalem and display His answer to our prayers with a power that will make Him look completely powerless on the Cross.

          He is completely aware of our struggle to reconcile our faith in an all powerful and just God with the same God hanging on a tree at the hands of the very powerful and unjust enemies we are expecting Him to save us from.

          He is also completely aware that His answer to our prayers for justice and salvation on the cross makes it look like our prayers and faith in Him is in vain because the wicked enemies look like they have overcome the Lord in whom we have placed our trust.

          This is why He asks us, “But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8). Will we persevere in believing in the Son of Man who suffered grievously and died at the hands of wicked people and after three days rose from the dead and has ascended to the right hand of the Father?

          Would we not rather prefer that our Lord Jesus Christ and the Father just answer our prayers like they did with Moses in the first reading of today and exterminate the enemy in battle?

          Our Lord is insistent with His answer to this lingering objection: He must suffer, die and rise in Jerusalem because the real enemies are much more sinister, darker, invisible, powerful and enduring than the enemies we see and who are themselves in need of saving.

          Our battle is with Satan and his angelic forces who very cleverly have poisoned our minds with His lies and have convinced us to turn away from a God who refuses to annihilate anyone, good or bad. They have convinced us to turn on each other and see one another as enemies.

          On the cross, Jesus the Judge will annihilate the suffering and death that has resulted from our turning away from God. He only wishes to save all His lost children, good and bad. This is the Judge to whom we raise our hands in prayer. Let us not become weary. – Fr. Simi.