Dear Friends in Christ,
Faith isn’t always a bright glowing light but rather a faint flicker to which we cling. We walk by faith and by sight and perceive God as in a mirror, dimly and only in part. The truth is that, for many, faith is lived in a fog of darkness and is often put to the test. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church so eloquently expresses it: ‘The world we live is often seems very far from the one promised us by faith. Our experiences of evil and suffering, injustice and death, seems to contradict the Good News; they can shake our faith and become a temptation against it’.
This was the experience of John the Baptist as he languished in Herod’s prison. As he awaited his fate, this great forerunner of the Lord, the last Old Testament prophet, probably shackled and no doubt hungry and tired, succumbed to doubt and uncertainty. Needing reassurance, he sent his disciples to ask the Lord, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else? Jesus pointed to his miracles and the power of God as signs that he is the Messiah, the Lord’s anointed.
Even John the Baptist, this outstanding herald of faith, wavered as his faith was tested. Nevertheless, Jesus held him up as the greatest man ever born while in the very next breath asserting that even the very least in Jesus’ kingdom is greater than this giant of faith. Clinging to Jesus through the ups and downs of life, the times of challenge and testing, the periods of darkness and near despair, is what makes even the least in the kingdom great. Faith we learn, it what most pleases God: faith in his Son Jesus.
During this holy season of Advent, we turn to the great witnesses of faith: to St. John the Baptist, to Abraham, our father in faith, who believed against hope, to Mary our Mother who often walked her pilgrimage in the night of faith, and many others.
‘Come Lord Jesus, Come!’