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Act of goodness is act of happiness

For Jesus, faith was and is, primarily, the trust we put in God’s love for us and a measure of how willing we are to serve others.

Today, as the worldwide Church marks Mission Sunday, this is truly an appropriate theme for people
to reflect upon, as it asks the question of how strongly we believe that
God will act in history and how determinedly we are convinced
that God will take care of us,
forgive us, heal us and protect us from evil.

Faith is characterised by trust and, as we see in the gospel reading for today, even by persistence. Jesus continues his string of stories that illustrate how even corrupt or insensitive people will back down under the pressure of persistence.

He then asks how much more our loving Father in heaven will be sensitive to our call than a person, like the corrupt judge, who only gives out justice to gain a bit of peace and quiet from a persistent old woman.

Faith trusts that no matter what, God can bring us to wholeness. Real faith does not give up when things do not go our way or when a prayer seems unanswered.

In the parable of the widow and the unjust judge, Jesus gives an example of persistence, explaining that the parable is about the disciples’ and our “need to pray always and not to lose heart.”

We may view this woman as a nagging old so-and-so, who just would not quit. But, under the circumstances, she had little choice, because widows in the society of Jesus’ time had few means of
support and local judges were supposed to see that they were treated fairly.

But this judge was godless and callous. There was no benefit to him in hearing her case and so he simply ignored her. Thus, persistence was the only weapon this widow had.

By means of his parable, Jesus is nudging us to emulate this widow in her persistent faith. He is holding her up as a model for our prayer.   She would not have persisted in
her request for justice had she
no faith that her needs could be
met.

We are to pray with persistence and confidence and with the kind of faith that counts.

On Mission Sunday, we are reminded that we have a responsibility towards all our neighbours, not only those who can bring some benefit to us.

Mission Sunday is a call to
people everywhere to share what we have with those who have less, so that the church may fulfill its role in building a just society in every corner of the world.

 

Compte Maurice Maeterlinck, who lived from 1862 to 1949, wrote that above all, let us never forget that an act of goodness is in itself an act of happiness. It is the flower of a long inner life of joy and contentment; it tells of peaceful hours and days on the sunniest heights of our soul.