Holy Family

Holy Family

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Feast of the North American Martyrs

Good morning. In today’s Gospel we find the Pharisees once again pestering Jesus. This time they are prodding Jesus for a sign of His Divinity, they want a miracle as if they hadn’t already seen and heard enough to believe. There were signs of His greatness everywhere. I’m reminded of the words of Nancy Gibbs, “For the truly faithful, no miracle is necessary. For those who doubt, no miracle is sufficient.” This Gospel passage raises the point of faith for me at several levels this morning. We scoff at the foolish disbelief of the Pharisees, yet how often do we ourselves hesitate to believe? And here recently, with the horrific disaster in Japan, there are doomsayers all about looking for signs of the end times, yet we’ve been assured that only Our Creator knows the day and the hour. Also today we celebrate the lives of the great North American Martyrs. I recall as a young boy being enthralled with the stories of the Jesuit Missionary Isaac Jogues, a man who needed no further signs, no further proof of the greatness of Jesus Christ. He and his companions left the safety of their life in Europe to share their faith amongst the perils of the wilderness of the New World. The same faith, the same signs, the Truth that was evident to the Apostles by the Sea of Galilee, that allowed them to drop everything to follow the Christ, was the same faith that led Saint Isaac Jogues and others to the glory of Martyrdom in the New World. This same Truth calls to us daily to likewise follow, and yet so often we miss the signs, we fail to hear His call. We too hesitate to believe, like the Pharisees we ask for further signs. In a similar way we experience uncertainties in our marriage, we often fail to see the signs. We miss the signs that assure us of our partner’s faithfulness and unconditional love, we experience feelings of uncertainty and question whether we are able to rely upon our marriage partner with unquestionable faith. We sometimes find ourselves looking for further signs to quell any doubts we may have regarding one another’s faithfulness. We sometimes pull back; we sometimes hesitate due to uncertainty of whether our love will be reciprocated or if the love of our partner is truly genuine. Like in the Gospel story for today, there may be signs all about us, but sometimes the obvious just isn’t enough. It is faith, a leap of faith that allows us to trust, to know the love of our partner. A leap of faith similar to that which allows us to come to know the love that awaits us in a life with Christ. Without that leap of faith we can never come to know the joy that awaits us. Take that leap of faith today and don’t forget to leave some signs for your partner to follow. Make a great day!

Today we recall the good lives, gifts, and works of the North American Martyrs.

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