2nd Sunday of Easter – Faith and Doubt

 

                 2nd Sun Easter C     – FAITH AND DOUBT                                                                                                                                                                   

  Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe. By the time the gospels were put together a whole new generation of believers was replacing the original followers of Jesus. They, like us, had never seen Jesus, but they believed. A lot of people today find it hard to accept that someone who was dead and buried had come back to a kind of life that enabled him to appear and disappear at will, to come through locked doors, show up unexpectedly to eat with friends and who eventually ascended bodily into the heavens. But the generation that followed the apostles had a joy about them, and a peace and generosity that was so compelling that it must have come from encounter with the living and risen Christ.

Unless I see the holes that the nails made in his hands…., I refuse to believe. When the others told him they had seen the Lord, Thomas had his doubts. Everyone who takes God seriously has doubts – whether it’s of the mercy of God, the reality of Christ, the existence of God, or whatever…. People of deep faith like Teresa of Kolkata go through lengthy periods of doubt. The great spiritual doctors of our tradition, like John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila, tell us that doubts keep us awake and moving. Doubt is often written off as a weakness. Strong people are at ease with doubt and scepticism. I know people whose faith seems to thrive in the midst of doubt and questioning.

My Lord and my God. This was no off-the-cuff or pious statement from Thomas. It came spontaneously from the whole person as his total response to encountering Christ. Faith resides in the whole person and not just in the mind and can be triggered by smells, bells and wells. Faith is our response to that which is beyond anything we can imagine. Because of our human inability to conceive and articulate the divine mystery, doubt is a natural and normal component of our faith and trust in God. If we follow our questions and curiosity the Spirit of God will lead us to more honest dialogue with God and with ourselves – and to light, new life, hope and peace – cf. John 16: 13.

Peace be with you. Jesus’ Easter greeting offers our world a peace that’s incomprehensible, a reality that’s not of this world – Shalom: a taste of the peace and wholeness of eternal life. When I look at the nightly news and see the faltering survivors of the bombed-out cities of the Ukraine I ask myself about God. Who or what is God? Where is Jesus’ promise of peace for these people?  Why doesn’t the Holy Spirit embolden the West to act more effectively? Or convert Putin from the error of his ways? What have these people done to deserve the ruination of their country, and their cities to look like Hiroshima or Nagasaki the morning after the atomic bomb?  I’m struggling with these questions as I search through the mystery of the death and resurrection of Christ for light.

Fr. QQ – 04/22/2022

 “Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings while the dawn is still dark” – Rabindranath Tagore.

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