Saint Rita of Cascia, Religious (Optional Memorial)
They did not understand . . . and they were afraid to question him. (Mark 9:32)
How do you think you would have felt if you were with Jesus on the day he first told his disciples that he was going to be killed, and then rise from the dead? You probably would have reacted with shock. How could Jesus, who was so powerful, allow himself to be killed? What did he mean about rising from the dead? Only in hindsight, after the resurrection, could you look back and see how important, and necessary, his death was.
We don’t understand so many things about our faith. How can there be three Persons in one God? How is Jesus truly present in the Eucharist? Why is there suffering in the world? Why did God allow this terrible thing to happen to my sister or my grandson?
It’s okay to acknowledge that we don’t understand. God doesn’t expect us to know everything. But we shouldn’t be afraid to ask God questions, as the disciples were. Just as a child has no problem asking his parents question after question, our Father wants us to feel free to ask him any question that comes to mind. Questioning is the first step toward a deeper understanding.
There’s no better place than in prayer to ask questions of the Lord. We may not always hear an answer, but when we do, it will have a way of sticking to our hearts and building our faith. In fact, there will be times that you are genuinely surprised at the insight God gives you about a problem you are facing or a mystery you can’t unravel.
Sometimes God will answer you in other ways than in the quiet listening of prayer. For example, a passage from Scripture might suddenly spring to life for you and shed new light on a question that has been on your mind for weeks. Or you might stumble across the story of one of the saints, and find uncanny parallels to your own life. Even a beautiful sunset or a violent rainstorm or a song on the radio might speak to you in a surprising way. Or God may even surprise you by answering you through an annoying television commercial or as you’re sitting at your desk paying the bills.
Don’t be afraid to ask. Always keep an open heart.
“Lord, teach me your ways.”
Psalm 55:7-11, 23
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