Monday, May 08, 2017

In Suspense

Jesus as the Good Shepherd from the early Christian catacomb
of Domitilla/Domatilla (Crypt of Lucina, 200-300 CE).

By Melanie Rigney

(When Barnabas arrived in Antioch) and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced and encouraged them all to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart, for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith. (Acts 11:23-24)

All you nations, praise the Lord. (Psalm 117:1a)

So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you and you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify to me.” (John 10:24-25)

Lord, open my ears and eyes and soul, that I might believe.

They only wanted to know. All he had to do was tell them, stop speaking in riddles and metaphors and parables. Was he or wasn’t he the Messiah?

He told them again, clearly and quite bluntly, that they didn’t believe and that the reason they didn’t hear him was that they were not among his sheep.

Apparently, they didn’t like the answer. After he told them that he and the Father were one, they prepared again to stone him.

Sometimes, we don’t like the answer either. So we ask the question over and over again. When is he going to cure us or someone we love? When is he going to clear the path for us to get a better job, more reliable vehicle, bigger house? When is that distance we feel so profoundly, no matter how much time we spend in prayer and study, going to go away? We tell ourselves we can endure much, as long as we know when it’s going to be over. We only want to know.

But he has told us, time and time again. He tells us he is the Good Shepherd and to have faith that he loves us and cares for us and is by our side at all times. It’s all we need to know. All the rest is noise and confusion and anxiety and fear.

Consider changing up your prayers today. Don’t ask where, when, why, or how. Instead, ask for the faith and strength to trust and wait.

Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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