“When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?”

Jesus asked the question, “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?”

This question is often thought to apply to a secularization of the world’s population in the last days. In other words, will there be fewer religious people and more pagans as the return of the Son of Man nears? Jesus was very specifically teaching about persistence in prayer, telling a parable to illustrate a God, concerned for His people. Jesus was addressing people who believed in God and prayed—some true believers and some just religious folk who thought they were OK. But they were people like us.

This passage is so pertinent because so many in our world do not believe in prayer, or that God answers prayer, in His supernatural involvement with His people. So many grow weary when praying and don’t push through until they receive an answer. This passage is within the larger context of a discussion about faith and the people of God. Christ is not asking if there will be any God-fearing people left when the Son of Man returns; He is asking if faith will be found amongst those, who claim to be God’s children!

The Catholic Church is celebrating a Year of Faith that was called for by our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, and we are now about a month into its observance.  In this Year of Faith we are striving to strengthen and deepen our faith.  We want others to see us as people of faith who practice that faith and are willing and able to defend our faith.  And so at this time the question of Jesus seems more pertinent. There are many challenges to faith in today’s world.  Many Catholics pay lip service to being Catholic but do not really practice their faith.  Other Catholics find the practice of their faith difficult because of the challenges and struggles in their lives.   The Pope is concerned about these problems, and so he has called for all Catholics throughout the world to join in this year long observance in order to renew our faith.

One of the means of renewing our faith is through the strengthening of our contact with the Lord.  We do this through prayer.  And prayer is the subject of today’s gospel.  In his parable Jesus calls upon us to be like the widow who persisted in her demand for a just decision.  He wants us to be persistent in prayer and never grow weary of asking Jesus for what we need, just as the widow never tired of asking the dishonest judge for a decision.    Perseverance in prayer is not always easy, but it will be rewarded.  Jesus is listening to us.  We know that through faith.

Have you lost heart in any prayer? What if you’ve prayed for a long time to be healed? Do you still truly expect to be healed or have you lost heart? Do you expect the end to abortion? Do you still believe or have you lost heart? Sometimes the longer we pray, the less we believe. The Lord assures us that, if a widow can get her rights from an unwilling judge, how much more will our prayers be answered by our heavenly Father Who gave His Son for us, adopted us, and loves us unconditionally, much more than we love ourselves? The Lord wants us to take heart and not lose heart, for His heart is open, pierced, broken, bleeding, and on fire for love of us.

God’s timing is different than ours. “This point must not be overlooked, dear friends. In the Lord’s eyes, one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years are as a day” . This means that God is both very slow and very fast by our standards. We often emphasize God’s supposed slowness. Yet we should also focus on His speed. God sometimes works “in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye”. God promises to give us “swift justice”. We must pray always and not lose heart. Otherwise, we will cause the Lord to delay in stopping the gross injustices of abortion, racism, “ethnic cleansings,” starvation, and other catastrophic evils.

Grow in faith; pray always; receive swift justice in a severely unjust world. “The God of peace will quickly crush Satan under your feet” . Come Jesus — swiftly!


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