Can You Believe?

22 Apr

Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.
~ Voltaire

“I believe.  I believe.  It’s silly, but I believe.”  In Miracle on 34th Street, the character, Susan Walker, suffers a major bout of disbelief in Santa Claus.  Yet, at the end of the movie, her mother challenges her to believe in the person calling himself Kris Kringle.  She thinks it would be silly and impractical to believe, but she throws herself into it nonetheless.  She sees “the house” she had asked Kris to get for her and she believed in him completely.

The disciples had a hard time believing in Jesus after His death on the cross.  All the reason in the world told them that Jesus was dead and that He would stay dead.  No one survived the suffering and death of crucifixion.  That was one of the reasons that so many of Jesus’ followers refused to believe even when others among their own company would claim to have seen Jesus.

It was just too hard to believe.

Today’s gospel picks up on that very theme as Jesus confronts a room full of disbelieving apostles.  Some of them had seen Jesus but could not convince the others.  When Jesus came into the room, their disbelief was dispelled.  And Jesus chastised them for not believing.

I often wonder what He will say to us when we see Him face to face.  We do believe that He is alive, don’t we?  We do believe the things that others have said about Him whenever they have encountered His healing love, don’t we?  We do believe in the resurrection of the dead, right?  After all, we profess to believe each Sunday when we say the words of the creed.

Saying and doing are two different things.  If we say that we believe in the Lord, we might still be holding back.  There might still be elements of the faith that we cannot quite grasp or believe.  That might be keeping us from being as close to the Lord as we could or should.

Try to cast aside your doubts today.  Jesus is risen as He said.  Alleluia, alleluia!

FAITH ACTION:  Is there anything about the faith that makes it hard for you to believe?  Ask God to increase your faith so that you may wholeheartedly believe.