Our Gospel today calls each one of us to task in what we believe; the Lord’s asking us to stand firm in our beliefs. As we approach Jerusalem and get ready for the Passion and the Way of the Cross, we know that many of those who were convinced are now second-guessing their belief in Christ Jesus. All the questions are asked in today’s Gospel and people go back and forth; challenged by their religious leaders. Many are swayed to turn away. Nicodemus calls upon the people to be logical and tries to appeal to their senses.
It’s important we think about this ourselves: rationalization is a dangerous thing and something that all of us can easily fall prey to. What I mean by this is that given the challenges of our religious and political leaders today, things are easily muddled, forgotten, challenged, rejected and so for us too we can be convinced that what we are doing when we follow as disciples of Jesus Christ is not necessary. I know that there are many compelling arguments given to suggest that our practices as Catholics are simple (devotions), barbaric at times (Lenten practices & sacrifices), unnecessary (confession), hurtful (standing firm in life issues), stifling (marriage for life and stand on contraception) just to name a few ways that the world we live in and people who don’t share our views of faith see us. I know that there are Christians who will accuse the Catholics with our religious practices as not being Christians. Unfortunately, sometimes there’s no way to stay it but we need to be firm in our belief. We need to know our faith intimately and remember that we don’t attack others just because we’re being attacked and remember that we can question, but we must allow our hearts to be open to the follow the Lord and allow Him to reveal for us answers which will help us in our faith and will help solidify our faith.
Rationalizing away what we don’t fully understand or what we struggle with is a dangerous thing. It leads us away from true devotion and true faith. When someone “loses” their vocation, often what begins to diminish is not a sense of calling, it’s their faith. When we figure out God is calling us to the married life when we thought we were called to priesthood; or like me priesthood when I thought it was the married life – this is different from what often happens is we begin to doubt or question the priesthood in the process of discerning it. This happens. We need to stay connected to the Lord in prayer; if we truly do we can be assured that He will help us stand firm in our faith. May God bless you.