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Today’s Reading: Luke 18:1-14
1 And he told them a parable, to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. 2 He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor regarded man; 3 and there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, Vindicate me against my adversary.’ 4 For a while he refused; but afterward he said to himself, Though I neither fear God nor regard man, 5 yet because this widow bothers me, I will vindicate her, or she will wear me out by her continual coming.’ ” 6 And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says.7 And will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8 I tell you, he will vindicate them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
her continual coming: The parable encourages persistent prayer (18:1). As the widow pleaded for justice, so we should persevere in faith and tirelessly petition God for our needs (Rom 12:12; 1 Thess 5:17).
The Pharisee stood: A common prayer posture (Mt 6:5; Mk 11:25). God, I thank you: Because the Pharisee is prideful, he will be “humbled” (18:14) for presuming that his adherence to traditional forms of piety is an automatic guarantee of divine blessing (18:12). He sadly overlooked his need for God’s mercy.