Pools of crises in our faith.

When we look around us, we often see that believers are not fulfilling their responsibilities as they used to. Sometimes we even hear it: I used to be a minister, and now I don’t believe. Or: I’ve had it; God didn’t help me when I was sick. When I see X.Y. going to church, I don’t go there, etc.
We know that the primary virtue in a person’s life is faith. It is necessary for the natural life but also for the supernatural. It is impossible to imagine life without faith. We have to be grateful to the Lord Jesus that He reminds us of something significant even today.

In the Gospel, the Lord Jesus turned to the doubters and murmurers and said: “The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” (Jn 6:63).

Jesus’ discourse on the Eucharist, which we have reviewed for several Sundays, guides our reflection. This speech outraged the Jews and brought evil into his disciples’ ranks. Nor could they, like the others, understand how Jesus could give them his body and food to eat. Therefore, we hear the words from their mouths, “Harsh is this speech! Who can listen to it?!” (Jn 6:60).
And several walked away from Jesus. Leaving the Lord Jesus must not be seen as a problem – whether to acknowledge the Lord Jesus. We must understand it as an emotional problem, which was the case for many in hearing Jesus. And when the emotions passed, the feelings waned, the need for sound reasoning became apparent, and here His disciples did not resign. Jesus asks them to have faith and believe him, but they cannot understand.
Pascal said that, like love, we need the courage to believe. Lack of courage to have faith weakens it and often makes it impossible.
What are the obstacles that make our faith impossible?

The most severe obstacle is when we want to explain everything with our reason, which is impossible. We often hear: what I don’t see; I don’t believe! And yet, there are many things that we do not see and think exist. We have not seen any gamma, and yet we think it exists. We have not seen an electric current, and we think it exists. A blind man has never seen the sun, yet he believes it exists.

The most significant difficulty for the apostles was to believe what was humanly impossible. How can Jesus give us his flesh to eat?
The answer to this question is substantial, meaningful, and yet simple. If Jesus can feed five thousand people with five loaves, if he can give sight back to the blind man, if he can raise Lazarus, who had been lying for three days, to life, then it means that he can also give his body as food. Faith, in this case, is a sign of trust in Christ. Thus the Lord Jesus’ apostles believed utterly. To the question of the Lord Jesus, “Do you also want to go away?” (Jn. 6:67). Peter answers, “Lord, and to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (Jn. 6:68).

It is possible to walk away from Christ, it is possible to betray Him, it is possible to renounce Him altogether, but what to give to the human soul instead of Christ? The soul of man is hungry for God. It also takes over, though it cannot be satiated with anything. St. Augustine said solemn words on this subject, “Thou hast created us for Thyself, O Lord, and unsatisfied is our soul until it rests in Thee.”

Every Church, and even more so Christianity, has its mysteries, which can only be clarified and fully understood in the light of the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. This was why St. Paul wrote these words in his Letter to the Corinthians: “But if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain, and your faith is also in vain.” (1 Cor. 15:14). The resurrection of Christ is the last and most weighty proof, the argument confirming the genuineness of our faith.
The second reason that often causes a crisis of faith is our earthly mindset. This is how some of Lord Jesus’ hearers understood his words, and this is how his apostles often thought. The most serious concern for them was the concern for temporal life. To make their life here on earth as peaceful as possible, free from hardship, and make the most of it. And this was considered by many to be most necessary. To believe in eternal bliss – heaven, in the Eucharist, eternal life- is a lot for today’s man.

How does the Lord Jesus respond to these difficulties? His words are unequivocal. Concern for life here on earth is a good thing; it is necessary. The Lord Jesus commends it in another place, but He equally emphasizes that this concern will not solve the problem of human life. Man has a soul and a body, so he must also care for them.
The words of the Lord Jesus in the Gospel are eloquent: “The Spirit quickened; the flesh profited nothing. The words that I have spoken to you are “Spirit and life.” (Jn 6:63). The word flesh in this text denotes a temporary dwelling here on earth. The Lord Jesus confirms that it is good but very fragile, quickly passing away, and little of it remains to man. And when this is so, it is wrong to lay hold of it, for everything will end one day. Let us realize that our real-life will only begin after our death. The Lord Jesus reminds us here of one main thing: we must learn to evaluate our relationship correctly in our life here on earth. We are not to belittle our mission on earth, but we must be aware that we will be rewarded for our life here on earth one day.
What does it mean to prepare for eternity? It means taking seriously the words of the Lord Jesus, which He also spoke to us today, “The Spirit quickens, the flesh profits nothing. The words that I have spoken to you are Spirit and life.” (Jn 6:63). Meanwhile, we are committed to spiritual life. To care for its development, trust Christ implicitly, and strive for complete union with him. We see the proof in daily life, which teaches us that whoever desires in life to live according to Christ will not fail. Let us trust Christ!

Recently was the feast of Stephen of Hungary, who has been called the “Apostle on the Throne.” In the words of Jesus, He was the light and leaven here on earth. Together with his wife, Gisela, he fulfilled the words of Jesus. Would you say they were anything higher? St. Helen lived by the natural law, keeping to her conscience. A postmistress by profession, she became the wife of the officer Constantine Chlorus, who would later leave her when he became emperor. She persevered honorably, however, and the rewards would come to her and when she became emperor, her son Constantine, who was very fond of her. We thank her for the beautiful buildings and the discovery of the cross on which the Lord Jesus died.

What does all this mean for us? To trust Jesus more than ourselves. To give God his due, not only in moments of feast or solemnity but also in everyday moments, especially when he is pressing the cross: ‘Lord, here I am!

There have been crises, there are crises, and there will be crises. The Lord does not test anyone beyond his strength. The Lord will allow but will not forsake. Instead, let us ask our conscience more often about what we have neglected, messed up, and betrayed in our relationship with God. 

 

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