‘Pray continually and never lose heart.’ That’s the message that Jesus gives to his disciples in today’s Gospel. He illustrates his teaching with a parable about a widow – a woman who is alone, poor and powerless. This widow is faced with a corrupt judge who is not interested in listening to her claim. She seems to have no chance of getting justice, but by her persistence and determination, she wears down the unjust judge and wins her just rights.
Jesus is not telling his disciples that God is an ‘unjust judge’ who does not want to hear us. His message is that, if an unjust judge will respond to a persistent cry for justice, we can be even more confident that the God who loves us will hear our prayers. When those who are poor and powerless cry out to God for justice, like the widow in the parable, God will hear them.
In the First Reading, Israel’s army is winning the battle as long as Moses raises his arms in prayer; but he has to rely on the support of Aaron and Hur to keep his arms raised. Today’s readings remind us of the importance of praying to God together for the things that we need, and of supporting one another in our life of faith.