Grace to you!
Once a young man, who was diagnosed with cancer, shared his concerns to a priest. “Father,” he said, “I don’t know if I have faith any more. Do I?”
Silence.... “You won’t know how strong your faith is until you’ve received the kind of news you just did”, the priest replied.
The young man's response was honest, “I still believe, but I am confused.”
One may not know how strong one's faith is until he or she is faced with a huge challenge and suffering. Call it a test of faith. Only then would the person really understand the greatness of God and how far he or she has journeyed with God. Faith has a way of keeping us on track in the thick of the night, when the road is very dark.
Faith is a beautiful thing. It could also be challenging, especially in the face of situations beyond our control. One of our joys and confidences is the ability to manage our affairs. Being in control is our delight.
Unfortunately, many things that happen to us prove that we can’t be in control of everything. Faith is a big part of resignation helping us to handle with virtuous confidence events in our lives we don’t have control over.
The story of Martha in the bible (John 11:19-27) depicts the picture of the frustrations of the news of events we can’t control, events or things that are frustrating. Lazarus’s death was one of those.
Martha’s faith in Jesus is unquestionable. Her love is as clear as daylight. The sickness and eventual death of Lazarus, her brother and Jesus’s friend, becomes a cloud over her faith. If Lazarus was Jesus’s friend and if Jesus really cared about her family, why did Jesus delay responding promptly? Why did he show up three days after a close friend was buried? Why? Why?
Martha couldn’t hide her frustrations, as we can’t hide ours when certain things happen. “Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died” (John 11:21) as Martha said, resonates with many of us. It resonates with the young man diagnosed with cancer in my opening story. Probably, it relates to you too at those moments when God seems dead.
Faith in turbulent times is a journey. You would be able to smile again despite the bad news if you cast all the “whys” to Jesus Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith. Scripture says, “Cast all your burdens unto him because he cares about you” (I Peter 5:7; Psalm 55:22).
A more trusting, confident faith assures that God is with you even in the thickest of the night. God lifts you on eagle’s wings, mirroring the power over the worst human fear. The resurrection of Lazarus from the dead is a proof.
I pray for you, especially today, if you are walking through the dark valleys of life. Keep faith. Keep God.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Saturday, July 29, 2017, Ordinary Time: Ex 24:3-8; John 11:19-27]
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.