Our gospel today is the second of two parables on prayer which St. Luke presents to open chapter 18. Last Sunday the first of the parables taught that we must pray for the vindication and deliverance that only God can give, and our prayer must be persistent. Today’s parable describes the attitude of prayer.
In the gospel today we encounter a woman who gains a hearing solely on her persistence. At the very beginning of the gospel we are told that the purpose of the parable is “on the necessity of praying always and not losing heart.” This is an important lesson in our society and in our lives. We are a people who want instant gratification.
In the first reading and the gospel today we hear stories of healing. Jesus performed many miracles and healings. However, Jesus did not heal everyone. As Paul Claudel stated: “Jesus did not come to explain away suffering or remove it. He came to fill it with his presence.” Often our experience of suffering or of someone else’s suffering causes us to turn in prayer to God. God always, always hears our prayers.