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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Faithful Despite the Struggles

"One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals." Mk 1:7

Knowing who you are and to whom you belong is a foundational first step on the road to spiritual health.  Every adult believer has struggled mightily at times with their identity as Christians and Catholics. Sometimes it is a particular belief or practice that makes us uncomfortable or leaves us full of doubt, and this is especially true when we are struggling with other issues in our life. When a marriage collapses or a parent nears death, we can wrestle with the teaching of the church or its beliefs and practices. Why can't I remarry, some ask?  Doesn't God want me to be happy? Or why is my mother suffering so?  Doesn't God care?

It is at times like this that John the Baptist becomes a good patron saint.  John knows who he is and does not try to be someone else. There is no indication in the text that he knows exactly who Jesus will become or what the church will eventually look like after his death. Rather, he knows that his job is to prepare the way for the Messiah, and he is determined to do it with integrity and total commitment.

If we remember that, like John the Baptist, we are disciples with a mission,  God will give us the faith to live with the questions and burdens which have no easy answer. That God is with us in the middle of the doubt, fear and anger is the promise upon which we rely.  God is here. God lives within us and among us. God is enough.

Today, ask God to help you live with the questions you face.

How do you respond when friends or family are struggling with their faith?

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