|Saturday After Easter
Psalm 118:1, 14-15, 16-18, 19-21
For many Christians, the road to faith runs through doubt. As today’s readings remind us, even the apostles doubted before they believed.
“She (Mary Magdalene) went and told [Jesus’] companions who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.” This reaction may even help us overcome our own doubts about the gospel story. We can’t immediately discount the testimony of the apostles because it comes from credible fools.
Later Jesus appears to the apostles and rebukes them for their unbelief but I suspect it was a loving rebuke successfully aimed at jarring them into action. In the passage from Acts in today’s first reading, these “ordinary” skeptical men are now risking everything to proclaim their belief. They’ve come a long way from their first reaction to the news of the resurrection. Even so, there surely were times when they continued to battle their doubts.
I carry in my mind’s eye the image of Michelangelo’s unfinished statue of St. Matthew. The elderly evangelist seems to be straining to free himself from some torment as well as the constraints of the marble. Yet the statue conveys a paradoxical sense of triumph over the torment, just as there is triumph in our own struggles with doubt and faith.
Like St. Matthew, we will always be constrained by the limits of
our humanity; but like the apostles, we can emerge believing. Alleluia!
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