Consider, if you will, that the nine lepers who did not return to Jesus have gotten a bad rap. So, on the way to the Tempe and the priests for their cure, they are healed. I can easily imagine that they were not silent about this miracle in their lives. They without doubt talked among themselves and were arguably quite loud about it to anyone who would listen. They very probably mentioned that Jesus of Nazareth had done this for them. At that point they become evangelists.

The internal talk of the judge is also some sort of recognition of God at work in his life, as crude as he seems to be presented in the parable. He sees that some higher force is at work in the persistent widow. God is not only at work in the widow, often our homiletic focus, but also in the judge. Note also that the widow is among the chosen ones. Through the law of Moses and the prophets, widows are among the chosen ones as most frequently mentioned because God hears their cries and we have a religious obligation to help them.

Jesus concludes this parable, returning to his earlier apocalyptic teachings; here he explicitly connects faith (in the religious sense) with the works of mercy. It is a good Sunday to review the corporal works of mercy.

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

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