When Faith Is Tested

The Nazareth Page - A gospel meditation for your home

June 7, 2020 The Most Holy Trinity - John 3:116-18

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Our faith and trust in God are tested in difficult times – like what we are living through these days. We are all growing restless and tired as we continue to live during the limitations placed on us during the Covid-19 pandemic. We mourn for those who have been taken from our midst. We worry about our own health and that of others, particularly those we know who are frail. Many of us are also struggling because of lost jobs or reduced employment. We are not accustomed to the many limits imposed on us these days. Still, we try to do our best.

Further, there is the widespread concern and public unrest brought on by the brutal murder of George Floyd. Unaddressed issues related to racism have come to the surface. We all want justice but don’t like being reminded that we still have a way to go to achieve justice for all. Our country remains flawed in too many ways.

Under these circumstances the second reading for this Sunday, however, might cause us a second thought. We are called to rejoice and to live in peace. Certainly, these are worthwhile goals, but in these times the challenge of rejoicing and being peaceful in mind and heart? How can we be so right now?

For an answer to this, we may have to look deeper into our faith and one place to start is to be reminded of the opening words of todays’ gospel: “God so loved the world … .” John’s Gospel was written many years after the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. In that gospel we are told that the life of Jesus was not without its challenges. His closest friends and followers often failed to understand him. Eventually, many distanced themselves from him. The authorities eventually killed him. Still, through it all Jesus remained constant in his connection with his God whom he always addressed as “Abba.” As a loving parent.

And he introduced “his” God to us, as one who was always concerned and merciful toward us. Toward everyone. So even while enduring many difficulties, Jesus still held to his conviction that he was loved by Abba and that we too are all loved by God. Through good times and those that are not. God remains close because God desires our closeness.

So, we can rejoice and be grateful for God having created us and remaining with us to strengthen us to deal with whatever comes our way. Even those things that are uninvited by us. Like right now.         

©David M. Thomas, PhD

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