First Reading: Is 54:1-10; Psalm: 30. R. v. 2a; Gospel: Lk 7:24-30
THE DANGER OF DOUBT AND UNBELIEF
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
The gospel of today is a continuation of that of yesterday. John had earlier sent his disciples to inquire from Jesus if he was the expected Messiah. They went, saw and testified that Jesus was the Messiah. When they left eventually, Jesus turned to the people and spoke highly of John. Jesus did not only testify that John was a prophet but he also publicly eulogised John, regarding him as the greatest of all men born of women. Why would Jesus do this?
The audience of Jesus were already familiar with the disciples of John. These people witnessed the preaching of John and were baptised with John’s baptism of repentance. Now, witnessing the doubt posed by John’s disciples as to if Jesus was the expected Messiah must have elicited some doubts in them if John was truly a prophet. Because if John was a prophet, the people supposed that he would not have nursed any doubt about Jesus of whom he spoke highly about as the awaited Messiah. This was the reason why Jesus witnessed to John as not just a prophet but more than a prophet to expunge the doubt of the people. And when the people heard this, they rejoiced and justified God for receiving John’s baptism.
There is a very beautiful lesson here. Just as our faith can inspire and build the faith of others, so can our doubts affect the beliefs of people. We should be careful when we publicise our lack of faith or doubt in God because not everyone has the firm faith to withstand other people’s faith crisis. A lot of people out there are struggling to hold onto their faith despite certain life crises. But our outright avowal of lack of faith can deal them a very grievous blow they may never recover from. A lot of people in our world today have lost faith in God due to what they read or were taught in school. But just like Jesus, it behoves us to build the faith of people with passion and conviction.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, when our faith in you begins to fail, send us your Spirit to strengthen us and help us overcome the crisis of the moment. Amen.