By Love's Hand

By Love's Hand

Fierce  Female Network And The We’73 Project

Vol 6 May 2024

May Homily by Deacon Richard Benkovic

In today’s Gospel we hear, “The two disciples recounted what had taken place on the way and how Jesus was made known to them in the breaking of bread. While they were still speaking about this, he stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” But they were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost. Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts?” In this particular passage from Luke, Jesus questions the apostles’ faith. How would we respond to Jesus or someone questioning our faith?

It was a Sunday morning in a little chapel on the border of Venezuela and Colombia. As Mass was beginning, and a gang of bandits armed with rifles came out of the jungle and forced their way into the chapel. The priest and the congregation were  totally horrified and afraid. One of the bandits dragged the priest outside first to be executed. Then the leader of the bandits said to the people in the chapel, “Is there anyone else who believes in this God stuff? Come forward!” Everyone was petrified. They stood frozen, and there was a long silence.

Finally, one man came forward and stood in front of the leader of the bandits. He said, “I love Jesus.” and he was roughly tossed to one of the bandits and taken outside to be executed. On seeing that several other people came forward saying the same thing, they, too, were taken outside to be executed. Then the sound of gun fire was heard. When everything was quiet, the leader of the bandits came back into the chapel and told the remaining people to go outside. He said, “You have no right to be here!” When they got outside, they were surprised to see the priest and the other people standing there.

The priest and those people who said they loved Jesus were ordered to go back into the chapel and to continue with the Mass, while the others were warned to stay out “until you have the faith to stand up for your beliefs!” said the leader. And with that the bandits disappeared into the jungle.

Hopefully, our faith will never be tested like that, but our faith in Jesus does get tested from time to time. For example, facing the future without know what task Jesus is asking of us; letting Jesus lead us without knowing where he is taking us; waiting for Jesus’ answer without knowing when; expecting Jesus to help us without know how; questioning Jesus as to why a particular thing happened.

Let us pray to Jesus that He gives us the courage to stand up to those what, where, when, how, and why questions when our faith is tested.

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