ST JOHN OF THE CROSS, P.D. (Memorial) White
John of the Cross was born in Spain. He was a Carmelite friar and a reformer in the Carmelite Order along with Saint Teresa of Avila, which eventually led to the establishment of the Discalced, or barefoot, reform of the Carmelites. His reforms did not set well with some of his brothers, and he was imprisoned. Eventually, John’s reforms will revitalize the Order. John of the Cross was a great contemplative and spiritual writer. He was canonized as a saint in 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII. He is a Doctor of the Church and of Mystical Theology.
First Reading: Is 45:6b-8. 18.21b-25; Psalm: 85. R. v. Is 45:8; Gospel: Lk 7:19-23.
WHEN CHALLENGES TEST OUR FAITH
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
There are times we nurtured some doubts about God due to some challenges in life. This of course does not mean that we do not believe in God anymore. It’s just that at times our problems can make us vulnerable to certain negative thoughts and doubts in relation to our faith. Ordinarily, it won’t be surprising to hear a man suffering from a protracted illness cry to God thus, “God, are you still there!” Were it not for his illness, he perhaps wouldn’t pray to God so. Even Jesus cried out on the cross “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
We can understand John’s situation in this light. John was in prison and understandably should face certain anxiety and doubt since apparently God was silent about his condition. So he sent his disciples to find out more about Jesus; whether he was the Messiah or if another was coming. Isaiah 61:1-2 spelt out clearly the doings of the expected Messiah. The Spirit of the Lord rests upon him; therefore, he will set his people free. Jesus did this before the presence of John’s disciples. He healed the sick; those possessed by demons and cured the blind. These signs were enough messages to them.
There are times that the feelings of abandonment and neglect can raise certain doubts in us if God truly loved us; if he was concerned about our predicaments. God understands our challenges in moments like this. But instead of whining and grumbling, God is rather calling our attention to his wonderful works in the lives of others. If we rejoiced in the blessings of others, our blessings we reach us. Whenever we doubt the potency of God to intervene in our situations, we should always remember that if God was able to save other people who went through similar predicaments, he would be able to come through in our own cases. Though times may change, God never changes.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, may our faith in you never fail in all situations. Amen.