1. And he spoke also a parable to them, that we ought always to pray, and not to faint,
That we ought always to pray, etc. Our Lord had been telling the disciples of the temptations and trials which would usher in the last days before His second coming, and He wished to caution them that they should not grow weary, but be ever instant in prayer. But how are we always to pray? By a habitual love of God and hatred for sin, and by habitually living in His presence and performing our actions for His sake. St. Augustine explains it thus: “Can we indeed without ceasing bend the knee, bow the body or lift up the hands, that we should say ‘Pray without ceasing’? There is another interior prayer without Intermission, and that is the longing of thy heart. … If thou wishest not to intermit to pray, see that thou do not intermit to desire ; thy continual desire is thy continual voice” (In Ps. xxxvii. 10).
2. Saying: There was a judge in a certain city, who feared not God, nor regarded man.
3. And there was a certain widow in that city, and she came to him, saying : Avenge me of my adversary.
A certain widow. The destitution of the state of widowhood in the East was extreme. So helpless were widows that they had a kind of claim for protection from the Law (Deut. 14:29; 16:11; Acts 6:1, etc.).
Avenge me of my adversary, —literally, “do me right on my adversary; give me justice on my oppressor” (εκδικησον) .
4. And he would not for a long fime. But afterwards he said within himself: Although I fear not God, nor regard man,
5. Yet because this widow is troublesome to me, I will avenge her, lest continually coming she weary me.
Lest continually coming she weary me, — literally, “lest inthe end she bruise me in the face”
(υπωπιαζη). Although the judge was hard and unjust, he was willing to grant the request of the widow because of her perseverance.
6. And the Lord said: Hear what the unjust judge saith.
7. And will not God revenge his elect who cry to him day and night: and will he have patience in their regard?
8. I say to you, that he will quickly revenge them. But yet the Son of man, when he cometh, shall he find, think you, faith on earth?
In these verses our Lord says that if the unjust judge finally heard the request of the helpless widow, how much more will God, who is justice and goodness itself, hear the prayers of His Elect!
But yet the Son of man when he cometh, shall he find, think you, faith on earth? i.e., will there be at the end of the world, just before the second coming of Christ, that lively faith which is trustful in the midst of difficulties, which inspires one to hope against hope?