Did You See That?
“Seeing is believing!” We associate that phrase with skeptics who won’t believe unless they see, as though “seeing” automatically removes the need to “believe.” Today’s gospel cautions us not to presume that’s so.
At the end of the dramatic account of Jesus walking on the water, the gospel of Mark comments on the disciples’ reaction to this event: “They were completely astounded. They had not understood the incident of the loaves. On the contrary, their hearts were hardened.” They had not understood the meaning of Jesus’ feeding of the five thousand nor the significance of his appearance to them on the Sea of Galilee. Both events ought to have given them clues as to Jesus’ identity but “their hearts were hardened.”
A miraculous feeding? Walking on water? They simply don’t “see” the significance of the events nor understand the identity of the one with whom they are walking. The reaction of the disciples certainly confirms that seeing is not always the path to believing. As a matter of fact believing seems to be necessary in order to “see,” a truth that will be the hallmark of gospel faith.
“Oh, if only we lived in the times of Jesus, how easy it would be to believe in him!” The scriptures of these days following epiphany in which the “revelation” of Jesus continues to unfold demonstrate the folly of that line of thought. If Jesus’ contemporaries needed faith to “see” and “understand,” we, too, must walk that journey with them.
What miracles have I missed today or this week because my eyes are not filled with faith and my heart is hardened to his humble presence? Jesus, give us believing eyes and understanding hearts so that we may see you, come to you and worship you!
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