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December 14, 2016

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dglogoGospel: Lk 7:18b-23 -
     John called two of his disciples, and sent them to the Lord with this message, “Are you the one we are expecting, or should we wait for another?” These men came to Jesus and said, “John the Baptist sent us to ask you: Are you the one we are to expect, or should we wait for another?”

     At that time, Jesus healed many people of their sicknesses and diseases; he freed them from evil spirits and he gave sight to the blind. Then he answered the messengers, “Go back and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind see again, the lame walk, lepers are made clean, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the poor are given good news. Now, listen: Fortunate are those who meet me, and are not offended by me.”

      In today’s gospel reading we hear how John the Baptist is dismayed when Jesus appears on the scene and is quite the opposite of a violent Messiah. John sends two disciples to question Jesus on his identity. And Jesus answers by pointing out that his kind behavior towards the sick and the poor fulfills the prophecies about the coming Messiah as found especially in Isaiah (Is 35:5-6; 61:1). This answer resolves John’s doubts.
     Now two things are to be noticed here. First, John honestly acknowledges his doubt. Second, he tries to resolve it. In acting thus, John is our model.
     As we grow up, we stop believing in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy and the Boogey Man because our minds become more critical and analytical. And this means that we will also question our primitive and infantile notions in the area of our faith. Such doubts are natural and healthy. They should never be quashed or buried. They should be carefully examined and formulated as clearly as possible. Then, like John the Baptist, we have to take steps to settle our doubt, namely, by asking informed Christians, read up on the matter, etc. Our faith must not be blind. It must be clear-headed and discerning.

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