October 16, 2022, Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Exodus 17:8-13 2 Timothy 3:14—4:2 Luke 18:1-8
As with any piece of literature that is well-written, pay particular attention to the last line in today’s gospel. I am certain it was chosen as the last line of this particular passage because those who selected the Lectionary readings wanted to emphasize this thought.
“But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
I believe that there are at least two reasons why this line - and this particular question - is so important for us in 2022. First of all, as many of us realize, studies indicate that the number of people who claim Christianity as their religious preference has been in serious decline in Europe over the past 60 years. Moreover, here in the United States, the decline while not as dramatic has also been significant. If the decline becomes universal, it could lead one to wonder if Christ will indeed find any “believers” when he returns to earth.
For me there is yet another reason why this question is so important at this time in history. Those of us who do claim to practice Christianity seem to be dividing into two camps - diametrically opposed to each other. On one side, we have those who consider themselves “pro-life” and have a difficult time understanding how abortion could ever be a proper moral option under any circumstances. Unfortunately, some of these same people do not seem to have a commitment to the importance of treating each and every human being with dignity, justice and mercy. On the other side of the divide, we have people who champion those virtues in demonstrable ways, but have difficulty understanding why abortion should be limited in any way. They say: “It is the woman’s right to choose”. There is no room in their argument for a voice for the unborn. What I see as the extreme voices of each of these “camps” have become the rallying cries. There is little or no conversation among religious leaders, politicians, or even the “people on the streets” about how our society can possibly progress beyond this impasse.
If Jesus were to come today, I cannot imagine he would be pleased to find two camps who are so opposed to each other - even violently opposed at times - that either of them would qualify as faithful disciples of a loving God.
by: Bill Miller