Praying with Jesus’ Parables: The Pharisee and Tax Collector and the Widow and the Judge

Yesterday was the fourth session of the Lent Reflection Series I am offering at the University of St. Thomas School of Law on the theme Praying with Jesus’ Parables. Our subjects this week were two parables unique to the Gospel of Luke: the parables of the Widow and the Judge and of the Pharisee and Tax Collector.

I shared some thoughts with the participants about both parables, encouraging fresh consideration of questions such as which of the characters in each parable we are meant to identify with, what do we learn about God (and about ourselves) from each, and how Jesus’ audience would have heard the parable.

As with all parables, these two are meant to challenge us and so we need to get beyond a reading of the Parable of the Widow and the Judge that simply says, “pray insistently,” and a reading of the Pharisee and the Tax collector that simply contrasts pride with humility.

Hopefully something in either my reflection at the session or your own prayer with the parable will challenge you.

You can access a recording of my talk here or stream it from the icon below. (The podcast runs for 22:15) You can find a copy of the prayer materials I distributed to participants here.