“But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

The headline comes from the last line of today’s gospel reading (Lk 18:1-8).  In this reading Jesus uses the parable of the persistent widow who regularly confronts a dishonest judge to rule in her favor.  He does so not because she is in the right, although he admits she is, but because he fears she will do him harm.  If a dishonest man heeds a persistent adversary how much more will and honest Father heed a persistent friend?

I find the closing sentence to be quite possibly the most chilling line in the gospels.  I don’t believe Jesus was saying this for effect or as hyperbole.  I imagine he looked very sad when He uttered these words,  Would He find true faith upon His return?  Would the Good News be embraced and spread like wildfire?  In any case, would the message get lost, as in the Parable of the Sower (Mk 4:1-8), with the seed of faith ultimately only falling on a hard path, rocky ground, or amongst thorns?  Even if the seed falls on rich soil, will time, apathy, or even rebellion eventually erode this fertile earth?  Upon Jesus’ return will He call us a “faithless generation” as He did the citizens of Caesarea Philippi (Mk 9:19)?  Certainly, the world seems more and more upside down each day.  Pray that our faith may be strengthened and that through our witness God will use this evidence of faith in our actions (“faith working through love” — Gal 5:6) to bring many to a new, renewed, or increased faith in Him.

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