In today’s gospel reading, we hear the story of the persistent and persevering widow. A widow in the time of Jesus and in the Old Testament times, looses everything to her deceased husband’s sons and brothers once her husband dies and is left with nothing. So you can understand how desperate this widow was that she never gave up in getting a fair judgement so as to have something to live on. The widow’s relentless perseverance and persistence is something extraordinary because it entails Courage and Steadfastness. We always emphasize the importance of perseverance in our lives as Christians, but it would be good to know what it means. The words ‘Persistence’ and ‘perseverance’ seem to have very similar definitions. Persistence is a firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition, while Perseverance is steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. As Catholic Christians, we are called to be persistent and persevering in our spiritual lives so as to attain the kingdom of heaven. So how persistent are we in your spiritual lives? Are we firm in saying yes to God, accepting His gospel, and following His ways no matter how difficult or impossible it might seem in our world and in our society today? Are we really steadfast in doing the will of God in our world and lives today? How persevering are we in our own efforts to live the Christian life?

The persistent and persevering widow’s story we heard in today’s gospel reading emphasizes the importance of prayer, courage and steadfastness in God. The widow never gave up in asking the Judge to render a just decision for her against her adversary. She did this over and over again, not minding the rejection she experienced but accepted it and never gave up. Such action shows the importance of prayer which Jesus emphasizes in Matthew 7:7 when He calls on us to ask and we shall receive, seek and we shall find and to knock and the door will be opened for us. How persistent are we in our prayer life? Do we give up easily or do we continue to listen to Jesus’s words to us of never giving up or relenting? The widow was very persistent in her encounters with the Judge because of her courage. She was very courageous to approach him and make her plea and request for a just judgement. How courageous are we in coming closer to God by working on our sins/faults to correct them and making difficult changes in our lives for God and his kingdom? The widow through perseverance was steadfast in getting her plea heard and her request granted, she never gave up. How steadfast are we in our pursuit for the kingdom of God as we answer our call to discipleship? Do we give up easily or do we push on with faith and total trust in God? My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we are reminded today of the need to be persistent and persevering in our spiritual lives as Christians. Let us pray for the grace to strengthen our faith in God by persistence and perseverance in our spiritual lives centered on prayer, courage and steadfastness in God.