There is at least one thing we can say for sure about the widow in today’s Gospel parable. She was persistent. Of course, it is clear that through His parable He is teaching us that He wants us to persevere and persist in prayer. He does not want us ever to think that we are bothering Him. He wants us to resolve to never give up in bringing our prayers of petition to Him. In fact, and I know I have said this before (just last week perhaps!) that the scriptures teach us that the only fatal mistake that we can make in the spiritual life is to give up. I firmly believe that if we persevere in trying to live a life of faith according to the will of God, we will get to Heaven. That is the task before us and part of that task is being persistent in our prayer. Jesus is also teaching us in this parable that He listens to our prayer, that He responds to them, and that He allows Himself to be changed by them. This to me is a very important point because there are those who argue that our prayers do not change what God is going to do; they just change us. I do very much agree that we are changed by our prayers and that the more we pray sincerely, the more our minds and hearts are conformed to God’s holy will, but I do not believe it ends there. I believe that one of the points that Jesus is making in this parable is that if even the unjust judge in the parable allows himself to be changed by the persistent widow, how much more will a loving God allow Himself to be changed by the prayers of His beloved children? Those who disagree with me will say something like, God is eternal, He knows all things, and He knows the future. Therefore, our prayer doesn’t change Him; it only changes us.” My response would be something like this, “Well then, how do you explain this parable? Is Jesus only kidding? Further, while I cannot explain how or whyan all knowing, omnipotent Lord could ever allow Himself to be changed, by mere humans, I also don’t understand why or how Jesus allows a piece of bread to become Him, but I believe it.” Therefore my friends, pray without ceasing, and trust that our loving God, if it is best for our salvation, will allow Himself to be changed by the prayers we pray.