6th Sunday OT C 2019 (readings)
Have you ever doubted/questioned the resurrection? You’re not alone if you have, I know I’ve questioned it; even the Church in Corinth questioned it in the 2nd reading. And, let’s be honest, it’s quite absurd to think that the dead will come back to life. All our experiences, all of our senses, tell us that this is not the case, that what’s dead remains dead. So it’s okay if you’ve questioned or even doubted this, or any number of other beliefs we hold as Catholics; it’s quite a normal thing to do, especially in today’s society.
But what happens after that initial doubt is very important. The first reading gives us an idea of two ways we can approach this questioning: Either we trust God, or we trust man. If we put our trust entirely in this world, entirely in human thinking and reasoning, then that questioning, that doubt, will start to eat away at our faith and eventually lead us out of the Church. Because we’ve let it sit there, and brood and rot inside of us instead of actually asking the questions about the resurrection that we might have.
The second approach is, quite simply, that we trust God, and his divine providence. But this approach is a bit more of a challenge because it demands that we take a sober look at whatever doctrine, whatever piece of the faith we’re struggling with, and engage it. And that engagement is the tricky part, because it demands that we do something about it.
Now, God doesn’t ask us to dismiss these questions or concerns out of hand, rather he wants us to know him and what he’s all about in a much deeper and meaningful way. If we trust in God, then when we have doubts, they are a sure sign for us that we need to study whatever it is we might find troublesome. Whatever it might be. Whether it’s just a sincere question about some doctrine, or even if we find ourselves at odds with what the Church teaches. Whether it be the resurrection of the dead, or the perpetual virginity of Mary, or the immaculate conception, or the infallibility of the pope, or abortion, or any number of other hot topic issues that society tells us we’re wrong about. If we trust God, we must engage that topic with the Church, we must learn what the Church teaches, and more importantly WHY the Church teaches this.
For the sake of brevity, if you have questions about the resurrection like the Church in Corinth did in the second reading, I’ll answer it simply: the reason the Church teaches that Christ suffered, died, and was buried and on the third day rose again; the reason she teaches the resurrection of the body and life everlasting, is because Christ rose from the dead, and there were witnesses. The most prominent among them were the apostles, all of whom were martyred for this belief, except John who died in exile.
I don’t know any among us who would be willing to be tortured and crucified for a lie. The same is true for the apostles; they had families, Peter we know had a wife; they were regular people like you and I. So I promise you that they would not be willing to die for something that they didn’t believe to be 100% true, that they didn’t witness themselves. The truth of their testimony lasts through the ages and is repeated every time we have a new martyr for the faith.
In the Gospel, Christ says, “Blessed are the hungry, for they will be filled.” One way to understand this, is that those who hunger for righteousness, justice, and even truth, will be filled.
My brothers and sisters, when doubts and questions creep up, it’s a sure sign that we must trust God, we must investigate what the truth of the matter is, and we must hunger for that Truth. In all that we do, all that we are, we must seek Him who is Truth itself, and that’s none other than Our Lord Jesus Christ.
So I leave you with a quote from the Venerable Fulton Sheen, “It is easy to find truth, though it is hard to face it, and harder still to follow it.”