Second Reading: Lk. 18:1-17
The Parable of the Persistent Widow 1
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2
He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. 3
And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.' 4
"For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, 5
yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!' " 6
And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7
And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8
I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"
The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector 9
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10
"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11
The Pharisee stood up and prayed about[a]
himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12
I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.' 13
"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.' 14
"I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
The Little Children and Jesus 15
People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 16
But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17
I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."
New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society