As I continued to read and pray about this weeks readings it occurred to me that the bit from Luke’s Gospel is like a sandwich, the vagaries of life surrounded by prayer and faith.
The vagaries of life are more than times of injustice etc, it all those times when we’d use my least favorite phrase “there by the grace of God …” because we are or are not, what ever we are observing. Here the widow may say “By the grace of God the judge granted my petition.” the judge may say “Except by the grace there go I.” except he doesn’t honor God; but you get the idea. The parable encapsulates the inexplicable times of life.
The first line of this pericope is about prayer. Luke has Jesus in prayer or teaching about prayer all the time. Prayer is a way of daily being in intentional relationship with God and Jesus assures us God will give us what He desires. 1 Job’s story teaches us to stay in relationship with God, even when everyone else abandons us, even when it seems as if God has abandoned us. In short there is a long biblical thread that reveals that prayer is all about divine relationship.
The last line of this pericope asks if Jesus will find faith. I know it’s looking forward, but looking back reveals the answer. Jesus incarnate finds faith in a centurion, a harlot, friends of a sinner, an unclean woman, a leper and a blind beggar. 2 The implication is Jesus, returning to judge, will also find faith; just not in the people religious establishments, or others, expect.
On second thought, perhaps this bit from Luke is a life map, pray always, and as you journey through the vagaries of life, you can be faithful