Saturday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
It’s mysterious why some people have a very strong faith, but others have little or no faith in God. A friend of mine from college was so resistant of faith in God that claimed everything he experienced that might indicate God’s action was either coincidence or chance. We can never know exactly what is going on in another’s heart, but after many conversations, my friend appeared immovable in his position.
This type of immovability is what that the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders give off when they confront Jesus on questions regarding His authority. It’s remarkable how frequently throughout the Gospels Jesus performs a miracle that causes great amazement from the people, but then they refuse to come to faith in Him. All along Jesus’ goal for them (and for us) is that He wants all to come to faith.
I’m not surprised that Jesus encountered people who made excuses instead of coming to faith because sometimes we make excuses of why we don’t have to trust God. As a principle: It’s easier to stand by and criticize Jesus rather than to make an act of faith and follow Him.
Jesus asks the religious leaders a direct question: “Was John’s baptism of heavenly or of human origin?” However, in their ensuing dialogue, they refuse to answer the question. There are countless instances throughout the Scriptures where the listeners are challenged to take a stance on faith in God—will you follow God or not? The neutral ground is the place of non-commitment where many people in our world choose to remain. We have to choose to give ourselves completely to God, not holding back, not as half-disciples or half-saints. A response of faith will ask of us a change in our way of life, but it isn’t a change we have to fear, because it’s one we can ultimately trust that faith leads us to God who wants to be in relationship with us and desires our salvation.
Reflection Question: Where are you avoiding a commitment or choice that you see God is asking of you?
Reflection by Fr. Paul Sheller, OSB