Daily Reflection
From a Creighton Student's Perspective

November 17th , 2007

Sara Brabec

Senior, Theology Major, Justice and Peace Studies Minor

Wis 18:14-16; 19:6-9
Ps 105:2-3, 36-37, 42-43
Lk 18:1-8

“The cloud overshadowed their camp; and out of what had before been water, dry land was seen emerging.” Wisdom 19:7

“Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.” Luke 18:1

I’m studying in the Dominican Republic this semester. I spend time each week at a nursing home called Hospicio for people who have nowhere else to live and can no longer live on their own. Every morning, the women who live there organize themselves and pray the Rosary in the chapel. The woman I generally visit, Sarita, doesn’t like to go into the chapel to pray, but she says the prayers from the hallway while we sit together. While she prays, I’m left with time to think—I sometimes say the prayers with her but I’m at a point where I feel very insincere doing so, so I generally choose to sit quietly. Most of the time, my thoughts wander to the question, “What is the point of this?” Why are these people, most of them abandoned by their families, here? Why do they suffer? What is it that they’re praying for? And how is it that they keep praying in the face of it all?

The first reading today reminds us of the captivity and suffering that Israel experienced under Egyptian rule. They had been under the dark cloud of captivity for so long, they’ve been praying for their release for quite a while, and suddenly they recognize the miracle that is unfolding in front of them. The response for the Psalm reminds us to remember all of the miracles that have come to pass through God. The first two readings set up well for the Gospel’s reminder to pray with unceasing faith.

I read a lot about how being a Christian demands that I be counter-cultural. I’m learning that being “counter-cultural” is a lot more complicated than I ever imagined it to be. It means seeing the old woman, whose Spanish I do not have a prayer of understanding, as completely my equal in God’s eyes—and more importantly, acting in a way that realizes that equality. It means doing the same with my classmates. But it also means understanding that prayer isn’t just another manner of purchasing an item from God.com with the option for express, overnight delivery. The women at Hospicio pray. They just pray. Of course, I don’t know all of their thoughts and maybe the truth is that they are fed up with it sometimes. However, I do know that they pray every morning. And when they come out of the chapel, they greet me with smiles and embraces and not a trace of weariness—women who, in my mind, have every reason to be irritated and weary. I’m reminded of how my values—the world’s standards—can be so horribly off.

The Gospel reminds us that God answers our prayers with the speed greater than that of the unjust ruler. It doesn’t mean that the answers, let alone the answers we hope for, will arrive the next day. But it does mean that God will wholeheartedly attend to the prayers of those who call out relentlessly and with total faith.

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