Wisdom 18:14-16, 19:6-9
For while gentle silence enveloped all things,
and night in its swift course was now half gone,
your all-powerful word leaped from heaven, from the royal throne,
into the midst of the land that was doomed,
a stern warrior
carrying the sharp sword of your authentic command,
and stood and filled all things with death,
and touched heaven while standing on the earth.
For the whole creation in its nature was fashioned anew,
complying with your commands,
so that your children might be kept unharmed.
The cloud was seen overshadowing the camp,
and dry land emerging where water had stood before,
an unhindered way out of the Red Sea,
and a grassy plain out of the raging waves,
where those protected by your hand passed through as one nation,
after gazing on marvelous wonders.
For they ranged like horses,
and leaped like lambs,
praising you, O Lord, who delivered them.
Psalm 105: 2-3, 36-37, 42-43
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wonderful works.
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
He struck down all the firstborn in their land,
the first issue of all their strength.
Then he brought Israel out with silver and gold,
and there was no one among their tribes who stumbled.
For he remembered his holy promise,
and Abraham, his servant.
So he brought his people out with joy,
his chosen ones with singing.
Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.’” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
The readings recount the story of God delivering the Israelites from the Egyptians and making a way through the Red Sea. God brought Israel out of slavery into freedom because of his promise. The readings show God’s faithfulness and his power to overcome impossible circumstances. He freed the Israelites from the Egyptians when they could not have saved themselves.
In the Gospel, Jesus tells the parable of the unjust judge to teach them how to pray and not give up. Even though the judge doesn’t care about the widow and has no fear of God, he answers her request simply to get her to stop bothering him. Jesus goes on to impress upon them how much more will God, who loves his people, grant them justice. Then, he ends with a question and a challenge of faith. He asks that even though God is solicitous to his people, will he find faith on earth?
It may be hard to imagine the Israelites losing faith in God after he brought them out of Egypt and through the Red Sea supernaturally. Even after such wonders, they doubted God and his providence in the desert. It is a part of our human nature to doubt the consistency of the supernatural. We get comfortable relying on the natural and as soon as a new trial comes along, we forget how we cried out to God and how he was faithful to deliver us and see us through. Today’s scriptures encourage us to meditate on God’s faithfulness and power, challenging us to go to him in faith for all our trials and to wait on him.
Where are you in your faith? If you or a loved one is in crisis, believe God will be faithful continually. Remember what God has done in the past and thank him. Ask for an increase in faith to help you through your current trials.