Saturday, April 14, 2012

“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”

If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.
--Saint Augustine

Gospel text (Mk 16,9-15):
When Jesus had risen, early on the first day of the week,
he appeared first to Mary Magdalene,
out of whom he had driven seven demons.
She went and told his companions who were mourning and weeping.
When they heard that he was alive
and had been seen by her, they did not believe.

After this he appeared in another form
to two of them walking along on their way to the country.
They returned and told the others;
but they did not believe them either.

But later, as the Eleven were at table, he appeared to them
and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart
because they had not believed those
who saw him after he had been raised.
He said to them, "Go into the whole world
and proclaim the Gospel to every creature."

In the Gospel today, Jesus’ apostles struggle to believe that Jesus has truly risen. In fact, throughout all Gospel stories of Jesus’ resurrection and the events directly following, the apostles express disbelief and a lack of faith. They are not alone. Many people doubt God, His Church, and His Word, while believing the fiction, fantasy, and manipulation in the media. Many are so naive that they believe what a politician or TV commercial says, while not even bothering to know the everlasting, time-tested truth of God's Word.

If we only would lose our trust in our own self-sufficiency! If we were only more stubborn against and disbelieving of what should be rejected and resisted! If we were only like putty in God's hand (Is 64:7) and like "a pillar of iron, a wall of brass" (Jer 1:18) against the strongholds, proud pretensions, and sophistries of the world! (2 Cor 10:4-5)

The world and the culture we live in will try to force us to comply. We'll have to obey someone. Will it be God or the pressures of the world?

Jesus could have easily given up on the apostles, but he didn’t. He expresses frustration at their disbelief, but gives them another try.

Likewise, Jesus never gives up on us but just like any opportunity offered us here on earth, God’s invitation calls for a response. How we respond to that invitation will not only define who we are in the here and now but where we will spend eternity. Answer Jesus’ call today, do not put it off. You don’t know if there will be another tomorrow, but we do know for sure that we have today. Let us begin.

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