Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Blessed Are Those Who Have Not Seen And Yet Believe

"Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe".(John 20:29)
This was the conclusion of the gospel today.  It is a familiar reading to many of us.  These words were spoken by Jesus to Thomas in the upper room after Thomas had placed his hands in Jesus' side.  The reading of this gospel is in honor of the Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle.  It felt particularly special as our Parish is named after St. Thomas the Apostle.  
We are in the midst of a heat wave in most of the United States and Connecticut is no exception.  As it was sunny and warm I wore my prescription sunglasses as I walked to Mass.  Sitting in the middle pews I decided to keep them on as I need them to see distance but when it came time to go up to communion I took them off.  As I looked up things were out of focus and I thought of the words "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe".  My heart went to my friend Sean sitting in the pew in front of me who is blind and I wondered what these words meant to him who no longer can see. The next idea that I was aware of were the words: Blessed are those who do not see why certain things are happening to them but still believe in Our Loving God.  
We are bombarded with disappointment.  Sometimes one can become discouraged and wonder why is this happening to me.  Why am I sick? Why can’t I find work?  A question just like this one was asked of the Holy Father by a Japenese girl on an Italian TV in April 2012.
The Japanese girl asked the Pope, why she was having to suffer so much as a result of the earthquake and tsunami that had struck her country.
The Pope answers questions on a TV show, watched by Catholics in Rome. Photograph: Gregorio Borgia/AP
"I am very frightened because the house where I felt safe really shook a lot and many children my age have died. I cannot go to play in the park. I want to know: why do I have to be so afraid? Why do children have to be so sad?" said seven-year-old Elena.
Benedict admitted: "I also have the same questions: why is it this way? Why do you have to suffer so much while others live in ease?
"And we do not have the answers, but we know that Jesus suffered as you do, an innocent, and that the true God who is revealed in Jesus is by your side."

Even Our Holy Father admits that even he has problems seeing the reasons for why pain and devastation occur especially to the innocent.  However,  even though we do not see the reasons we have faith in Jesus.  He loves us and His plan never fails in its design.  

More and more I am beginning to see the beautiful fruits of things that at first felt like an affliction or punishment.  My loss of most of the function of my hands forced me to stop practicing as a dentist and brought me to a part-time career in the education of dentists.  This allowed more time and flexibility to go to daily Mass and pray the rosary at Church.  

Our Heavenly Father loves us, if we trust in Him and consecrate ourselves to Him then we should not worry how or why things happen.  We must thank our Loving God for our joys and our crosses.  Both lead us on the road to salvation.

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