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Trust and Doing Our Best

In the gospel reading for today, Jesus tells his disciples of his coming Passion, how he will be arrested, crucified, and then rise on the third day.  The disciples did not offer a response.

This was not the first time Jesus had spoken to them about his Passion.  So, one might want to give them the benefit of the doubt and say they have already know about his Passion.  However, the next sentence makes it clear that their silence is not because they know of and accept the Passion.  The next sentence is clear when it says “But they did not understand the saying, and they were afraid to question him.

Are we afraid to question what we do not understand?  We are taught that doubt is a bad thing.  I think asking questions can be a good thing if the questions are meant to help us deepen our faith.  I’m talking about “lack of understanding.”  For a little child, it can be as simple as asking why we genuflect in church.  For an adult, it might mean trying to understand what science teaches about evolution and what our faith teaches about creation.

Questions like these help us to follow Jesus.  Of course, this doesn’t mean we are going to get all the answers we seek.  Sometimes we do need to simply trust in God.  I think asking questions for which there are answers can help us trust God when there does seem to be answers.  If God is ‘proven right’, then when here is no clear answer, we know we can trust in God when there seems to be no answer.

The disciples were afraid to ask the question.  What do they end up doing instead?  They argue about who is the greatest.  That can be described in one word, pridePride is a sin.

How do we know when we are being prideful?  In the disciples’ case, they were more concerned about who was the greatest than what Jesus had just said.  We can ask ourselves “Do I want to be the best or do I want to do my best?”

If we want to be the best, that is pride and a sin.  God did not create us to be any better than anyone else.  However, we are to do our best, using our gifts to make the world what God calls it to be.  Then, when we have done our part, to realize that we do good but that we do good because God makes it possible for us to do good.

We learn by asking questions but then trusting in God when seems to be no answer.  Our faith calls us to use Faith and Reason together.

Peace,

Fr. Jeff

 

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