Monday, 20 August 2018


  'A Hard Saying'
Let’s face it –faith can be difficult!   We are asked to believe what the eye can’t, what is way beyond our wildest imagination.   In our scientific age most people want the solid proof of sound reason before they are prepared to accept something as being true.  To most people our Christian faith seems at best to be a beautiful and comforting fantasy, at worst a cruel deception, giving hope where there is no hope.

But it’s unreasonable to accept only what we can prove or have personally experienced.  In our daily lives we rely on others to tell us what they have been able to prove or what they have experienced.   We depend on their superior knowledge to extend our own limited knowledge and to deepen our understanding.

If we only accepted what we personally could prove our horizons would be very limited.

Faith does not depend on proof, but on our trusting someone we are convinced is reliable.   We believe he or she knows what he is talking about and won’t deceive us.   Because we trust that person we accept what he tells us.   The certainly of our belief depends on the reliability of the person who informs us.   Today we’ve become very sceptical about those who practise the devious arts of the spin-doctor and, more recently, ‘fake news’.  

Today’s Gospel gives us a good example of what faith is all about.   Many people, who found Christ’s teaching impossible to accept, left him.    When Jesus asked the disciples whether they, too, would leave him, Peter replied,  Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the message of eternal life, and we believe.  We know that you are the Christ, the Son of God’   Though Peter didn’t really understand Jesus he trusted him.  That trust enabled him to accept what he taught:   That he had come from above and therefore spoke with divine authority.   Jesus knew what he was talking about and was utterly trustworthy.  Peter further realised that if he abandoned Jesus he would be lost, he would have nowhere to go.  The same is true for us.

          We, too, believe Jesus has the message of eternal life.   He has revealed the depth of God’s love for us, opening up new possibilities, way beyond our wildest dreams.   We have been called to share God’s own life and happiness, which reaches beyond the grave.   To the rationalist sceptic this seems utter folly, a pipe dream.

But the extravagant folly of God’s love for us confounds the so-called wisdom of the hard headed rationalists of this world.

Having said this, don’t be surprised if you have doubts and questions.  What we are called to believe does go beyond the limits of reason, without contracting it.  If we are troubled by doubts, rather than give up, let us renew our trust in Jesus, who has shown us the way to eternal life and happiness.  With Peter, let us be convinced that without Jesus we would be lost.  We would have nowhere to go.
Isidore O.P.

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