You know, this Gospel reading is filled with all sorts of off-putting comments, isn’t it? I don’t know about you, but I bristle at the thought of comparing God to a dishonest judge! But that’s not the point here. Of course, Jesus means that God is so much greater than the dishonest judge, that if the dishonest judge will finally relent to someone pestering him, how much more will God, who loves us beyond anything we can imagine, how much more will he grant the needs of this children who come to him in faith?
But people have trouble with this very issue all the time. Because I am sure that almost all of us have been in the situation where we have prayed and prayed and prayed and nothing seems to happen. But we can never know the reason for God’s delay. Maybe what we ask isn’t right for us right now – or ever. Maybe something better is coming our way, or at least something different. Maybe the right answer will position itself in time, through the grace of God at work in so many situations. Most likely, we just don’t have the big picture, which isn’t ours to have, really.
But whatever the reason, the last line of the Gospel today is our key: “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” It’s a good question, even if it is a tough one. Faith is what leads us to continue the prayer until it is finally answered. Maybe the situation will come to a peaceful resolution, or maybe it is we who will be changed. But if we approach it all in faith, then we know we have to approach it all with the long haul in mind, because our faith tells us that God answers in God’s time and in God’s way.
A delay could either bring us closer to God as we continue to pray in faith, or it can fracture our relationship with God when we give in to despair. But let that not be so for us. When the Son of Man comes, may he find us faithful ones busy in prayer.