This week, a scam went around churches of the Buffalo area.  Someone was looking through bulletins it seems, and then posing as me they sent a text to any cell numbers they found there.  They tried to get codes for gift cards.  Hopefully you are all ok.

At the same time, my own phone has been blowing up the last few weeks and months with scam and spam calls.  Often my phone will report I am being called by “Robo Caller,” which is helpful.

It’s amazing to me how stubborn and persistent some people are in running these scams!

Today’s gospel talks about persistence as well, but does it in a humorous way.  Instead of the widow being scammed by persistent conmen, she herself shows her persistence in pursuit of justice.  Instead, it is the judge who is corrupt.  Yet in the end, she is so persistent he gives her what she is owed because he’s afraid he’s going to get a black eye at the hands of this widow.  Easy to imagine!

In Luke’s gospel, Jesus has been warning the disciples that his kingdom is not going to be coming for them right away.  The justice that they long for is going to be delayed.  However, it is very important that they don’t stop trying, that they don’t stop praying.  It’s so rare that we find success on the first attempt in anything, in business or school or a hobby.  So it is with faith and with prayer.  Even if we’re awful when we start, even if it doesn’t seem to do anything right away, eventually our prayers will move heaven.

The close of the gospel suggests a second change our prayers cause though: “when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” When we pray regularly, we become stronger.  Our faith increases.  Prayer may change heaven but prayer also changes us.  It gives us peace, and a clearer sense of what we are asked to do as Christians.

There’s no particular way that Jesus asks us to pray today.  “Pray always” doesn’t mean every single moment of every single day, but it does mean every day, “day and night.”  Ask him for help.  And thank him for the help we have received.

Peace ~ Fr. Dan