Sometimes I’m glad that, in the scriptures, the Apostles are so often confused. I’m comforted in their questioning and repeated asking. Even when Christ explains things again, they still don’t get it!
I feel like we would not be able to accept the Gospels if this very human questioning didn’t appear in its pages. And it’s obvious that the Gospel writers themselves saw value in this questioning because it would be so easy to leave it out. If they wanted to be seen as the best and brightest on the ground floor of this new religion, wouldn’t they have left out all these instances of questioning and not getting what Christ was trying to tell them?
Our questioning is part of our human nature and an expression of our free will. We are uniquely created people with singular souls. We are going to question different things, we’re going to have trouble understanding some ideas and doctrines over others. This is true in our spiritual lives, but also our regular lives. Some of us have a really hard time understanding why we need to learn algebra at all let alone mastering its formulas. Some of us are constantly questioning political systems, or why our spouse always leaves his socks on the floor next to the laundry basket. It’s part of our need to learn and understand for ourselves, to not blindly believe.
In today’s Gospel the Apostles are questioning Christ as He tells them about His Resurrection. (John 16;16-20) A miracle which would be incomprehensible to anyone, but regardless, it is the fulfillment of our promised salvation. Maybe you’re struggling with believing in the Resurrection, too. Maybe you’re struggling with another aspect of Catholic teaching which makes you scratch your head in disbelief. Today’s readings prove that you’re not alone; the Apostles who journeyed with Christ in the flesh, who were His own dear friends, questioned and struggled to understand as well.
What’s beautiful is that Jesus will be with you at whatever stage of understanding you are experiencing. He will repeat Himself; He won’t leave you alone. He will show you, not expect you to figure it out on your own. It might require you to do some legwork and to keep your mind truly open, but Jesus is there every step of the way. We can be honest with the Lord, express our lack of understanding, and question Him. The Lord can handle your questions because He has created us to have inquisitive, active minds and hearts that long for truth.
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Holy Spirit, enliven our hearts and minds to your Word and Truth. Help us search for Truth where we are confused. Help us seek true understanding where we are complacent. Help our faith grow deeper in relationship with Christ.
Christy Isinger is a wife and mom to five lovely, loud children and lives in northern Canada. When not homeschooling, she is a devoted reader of English literature from Jane Austen to Agatha Christie. She writes about the beauty of faith, life, and the home at her blog and is the co-host of the Fountains of Carrots Podcast. You can find out more about her here.