Today’s Gospel: Luke 18:1-8 – St. Elizabeth of Hungary
Today’s gospel connects beautifully with today’s memorial of St. Elizabeth of Hungary. In the gospel, Jesus exhorts His disciples (and each one of us) to “pray always without becoming weary.” He tells the story of the dishonest judge who rules in the widow’s favor after she pestered him for a long time. Jesus doesn’t say exactly how long she pestered him, though. It could have been months or it could have been years. Still, no matter what, the widow never gave up, and neither did St. Elizabeth.
St. Elizabeth had a very difficult life. A marriage was arranged for her and so she was sent, at the tender age of four, to live with her future husband’s family. Her mother was murdered when St. Elizabeth was six, and much of her life was surrounded by political strife. She married King Ludwig IV at the age of 14 and together they had three children, the youngest one being born after her husband died from an illness while traveling. St. Elizabeth was 20 years old when her husband died. Furthermore, St. Elizabeth had a very strict spiritual director who imposed harsh and inconceivable penances that would make the average person faint!
Through it all, however, St. Elizabeth persevered. She was a model of prayer and charity and a member of the Third Order of St. Francis. She used her money and influence to build a hospital, provide for the poor and the sick, even going so far as to give royal robes and articles to the poor. She gave God her life, her family, her everything. Prayer was her constant companion and the channel in which she developed her relationship with God. Like the widow, St. Elizabeth “pestered” God with her prayer, devotion, and service. May we, through the intercession of St. Elizabeth, do the same in our own lives.
Do I pray “without becoming weary,” trusting God, and knowing He will grant what I desire (and more) if I just persevere?
Dear Lord, through the intercession of St. Elizabeth, help us to persevere in prayer and not give up or lose hope when faced with challenges in our lives.
Copyright 2018 Carol D’Annunzio
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