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Sunday Soundbite for October 16, 2016

Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Cycle C

October 16, 2016

 

If you love a story with a twist, you’ve got to like the parables of Jesus. Today we have another surprising one: Once upon a time there was an unjust judge who was badgered by a widow in his town until he relented and gave her justice.

Now—did you get the twist in the story?

Scripture scholar Barbara Reid suggests that we might see the widow as the hero of the story, and as an image of God. Now there’s a twist! Could Jesus have intended us to focus on a character who is defenseless in her society, seemingly helpless, as the one who fights for justice until she wins? If we put her in the context of Christ’s own triumph over suffering and death, it makes a lot of sense. Christ was powerless before those who led him to the cross, but won victory in that seeming defeat.

We may seem powerless before all that is unjust in our world. We may even pray—a lot—for those on the side of good to triumph over evil. And since the answers to our prayers often seem slow in coming, we may get discouraged and lose heart. But Jesus’ parable today encourages us not to. We’re to keep praying—and working—for peace and justice. God is with us in the struggle.