When our faith is tested

Published April 18, 2021, 12:44 AM

by Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD



In today’s gospel, we read about one of the appearances of the Risen Lord to two disciples. The manifestations served to confirm and bolster the sagging faith of his close followers. They had doubts and misgivings if he was really the expected Messiah. “Did he really rise from the dead?” The appearances were important because they served as the bedrock of the faith of the early Christians.

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The disciples’ attitude of doubts and misgivings represents our own at times. For us Christians today, believing  in the Risen Lord is not very much a problem. But in PRACTICAL LIFE, there are instances when we doubt or even lose our faith in a loving God.

For instance, last January, a couple friend of mine passed away. The husband got infected with the coronavirus and died. The wife who was taking care of him was exposed to the deadly germ and died a few days after.  It was devastating for the whole family. One of the children remarked: “We may never understand why God had taken them both.”

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Some might even say, “If he’s a loving God, why does he allow such tragedy to happen to good people? And why does he not do that to the godless, the evil or corrupt people?”

The mind of God is difficult to fathom. “My thoughts are not your thoughts,” he said. This is where our faith is severely tested; we just have to hold on even if we can’t understand God’s will.

I know of a young priest who was assigned to a parish. He was excited about his first assignment and worked well with his parish priest. As time went on, however, their relationship became sour; some misunderstandings happened which broke the closeness between the two.

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Unable to work well together anymore and with the mediation of his higher superior, the young priest was transferred to a new assignment. The bitter experience, he believed, was unjust and for long time nurtured bitterness and resentment. He even thought of going on a leave. But with a heavy heart, he held on and after a lot of reflection and prayer, he decided to continue.

As the emotional pain gradually melted, what he thought as a big failure turned out to be a blessing because he had learned the importance of humility, understanding, faithfulness, and constant adjustment to all kinds of people.

The priest who almost lost his faith will soon celebrate his Sacerdotal Golden Anniversary. Truly, “When God closes a door, he opens a window.”

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The experience applies also to married couples. There are crisis and trials due to weaknesses of infidelity, misunderstanding, quarrels, and so on. But as a married man, who’s in the renewal movement, advised, “When bitter quarrels flare up, don’t make a fast decision to break up. That would cause a traumatic experience not only for the couples themselves but most especially the children. When things cool down, talk about the problem or dialogue or seek the advice of a priest or a well-meaning friend.”

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Remember that marriage is not a bed of roses. Sometimes there are more thorns than roses. That’s why somebody quipped that there are three rings in marriage, namely: Engagement ring, wedding ring, suffe-ring!

 Bill Gates, founder of the giant Microsoft Company, has this message to say for married couples from the COVID-19 pandemic: “How important our family and home life is and how much we have neglected this. The pandemic is forcing us back into our houses so we can rebuild them into our home and  to strengthen our family unit.”

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ASK YOURSELF:  What’s my attitude when trying moments like crisis in relationships or a health crisis hit me? Can I go beyond the harsh reality and still discern a good and loving God? Or, do I feel bitter and resentful? Instead of complaining or blaming others, should I rather move on and do something to remedy my problem?

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Life is short. Let’s not fill it with hatred, resentment, and unforgiveness which hinder us from doing our God-given goal of loving Him and our fellowmen.

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APPEAL.  Let me fervently appeal for help to the following: Bernadette V., a Covid-19 patient, five-year-old leukemia patient Alison L., Rosanna C., M. Maranga, Jacky L. sick of asthma.

Kindly donate any amount to buy medicines and food. Pope Francis once said, “Your good works will be your PASSPORT to Heaven.”

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For inquiry, e-mail me at: [email protected] or send donation through to my BDO savings account—Fr. Isabelo San Luis #0002251623.