Wednesday, April 12, 2023

The Gospel Calls for Faith- Not Certainty

The angel of the Lord said to the women: "Do not be afraid! I know you are seeking Jesus the crucified. He is not here, for He has been raised just as He said." Matthew 28:5b-6a.

Do you find it interesting that, even though no one saw the central event of our faith, we, like the women at the empty tomb, are still invited to bear witness to the resurrection of Jesus Christ? We read it like seeing an empty tomb would have been a good thing. Jesus' total absence begins the story. It's only with the word of the angel, God's servant, that there is a change in narrative. It's an invitation to trust and rely on God's love, grace and faithfulness.

"The desire for certitude is an obstacle to launching full sail on the ocean of trust," wrote Thomas Keating. For anxious, terror-struck disciples not knowing how Jesus left the tomb, the only way forward is to consent not to know, to trust the words of God's messenger. The voices are many who declare otherwise. Our program for security seeks an end to mystery and unknowing. As the gospel Easter song declares we indeed like the idea of "all fear" being gone. But is that the measure of our spiritual life? I hope not. If all fear being gone is what it's about, then I've missed the bus!

Faith accepts the unknown. From Abraham to Moses, from Mary to Peter, we take the next step in the journey not because all our questions have been answered, but because God gives us enough faith to take the next step. It's God's goodness and mercy that chases after us as long as we live- the real measure of faith.

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