In 2 Timothy, Paul admonishes Timothy to persevere in proclaiming the Word of God. He tells Timothy that both the divine inspiration of the Scriptures (the Old Testament) and the teaching of the apostles will be useful to him in helping believers to remain faithful to God.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us to be persistent and faithful in prayer. As an example, he tells his disciples the parable about a widow who wanted a fair decision from a judge for her legal problem. The judge was unwilling to deal with the problem. Daily, the widow pestered him and insisted he make a decision. Finally, he gave in to her requests.

Jesus said, “Now if the selfish judge finally listened and rendered a decision, how much more will my heavenly father listen to your prayers and give you what you need?”

Jesus is teaching about prayer and God’s love. Where the judge was annoyed by the widow badgering him, God delights in our persistent prayer. The judge, totally exasperated, gave in to the widow’s request – but God gladly grants our petitions. Our continual asking helps us to grow closer to God. The judge wanted to be free of the widow – but God longs to be one with us.

When we pray to God, he hears our prayers and answers them, even if at times the answer is “no.” Sometimes we get anxious or feel disappointed when it seems we’re not getting anywhere, but we shouldn’t give up or stop asking. We must trust God will always do what is best for us. Prayer is a necessary part of strengthening our relationship with God. See the Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2742-2745, on perseverance in prayer.

Pope Francis says, “God is always for us; he never grows tired. Jesus shows us this merciful patience of God so that we can regain confidence, hope – always!”