Readings: Ezek 37:21-28; John 11:45-56
Scripture: If we leave him alone, all will believe in him . . . (John 11:48)
Reflection: With the raising of Lazarus still fresh in their minds, the leaders of the Jewish community around Jesus are getting nervous. The signs are too great, the risks too high. People are starting to believe. How could they not? This man cures the blind and lame; this man raises people from the dead. They cannot allow this to threaten the status quo and their comfort and power along with it. And so doubts are sown, outright lies told, dire predictions made. True to human form, the people who believed because their own eyes had seen begin to waver. Maybe it wasn’t real. Maybe he is dangerous. Maybe we’re crazy for jumping on this bandwagon.
The same sort of thing goes on in our world today. We know what we believe and why we believe it, but there are many who would cast us as fools, gullible bumpkins not smart enough to see the light. Believing in something we can’t see and touch, trusting that our life will continue long after our physical body wears out, basing our entire life on the words and actions of a man who lived two thousand years ago and claimed to be one with God—maybe we, too, are crazy for jumping on this bandwagon. The thought crosses our mind, fleetingly, when the drumbeat of the world gets so loud it drowns out the still small voice. If that begins to happen, come back to Scripture, Eucharist, prayer, and community, and remember what drew you to this faith in the first place and what keeps you firmly rooted.
Meditation: It’s hard to admit the doubts we may have to ourselves, much less to anyone else. Won’t they be scandalized? Won’t they think less of me? Truth is, doubts come with the territory and, in fact, can propel us forward on our spiritual journey, if we are willing to pay attention and face them rather than hide in fear. Pope Francis has said, “We do not need to be afraid of questions and doubts because they are the beginning of a path of knowledge and going deeper.”
Prayer: This journey toward heaven is fraught with beautiful summits and dangerous blind spots, stretches of ease and backbreaking climbs. Through it all, we return to you, Father, sure that you are beside us, even when those around us try to convince us otherwise. We believe!
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