Everyone in life struggles with problems that arise from living in this world. This week’s readings emphasize to us that persistence, especially in prayer, is key to overcoming these hardships.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples the parable of the judge. While this judge had no respect for any other human being, the women in the parable did not lose hope. She continued to ask the judge for a just decision, repeatedly until he finally relented. Even though it took a long time, through her persistence the woman was able to get her just decision. Jesus uses this parable to teach his disciples to continue to pray to the Lord, even though it may seem that their prayers are left unanswered. Jesus is not saying that the Lord is a cruel judge, but that God works in mysterious ways, and that just prayers may take time to be answered. Another key point is the emphasis of just. While we may pray for something we think would be good for us, it may not be what God wants for us.
Today’s first reading shares a similar message. When Amalek came to wage war on Israel, as long as Moses’ hands were raised with the staff of God, the battle went well. Moses did this until sunset, an exceedingly long time to raise your hands over your head. By not giving in to his fatigue, the battle was won. Moses’ persistence went a long way towards winning the battle, but it was through the aid of Aaron and Hur that he was able to accomplish his task. This reading looks to teach us that we can accomplish more with the aid of others than we ever could solely on our own.
Overall, persistence in the face of adversity is the key to overcoming the obstacles in life, and no matter how alone we may feel in our hardship, God is always with us through our challenges. It may sometimes feel that we are on our own and our prayers go unanswered, but in truth they are always heard and answered in a way you may not expect.