Help My Faith!
“[M]any there began to believe in him.”
Today’s Gospel begins to prepare us for the momentous events of Good Friday, one week from today. It describes what happened when some people picked up rocks to stone Jesus. He pointed out that he had shown them many good works from his Father and asked, “For which of these are you trying to stone me?” They answered that it was because “you, a man, are making yourself God.” Although they had seen the signs he worked, they did not believe. The people whom John describes at the end of today’s reading, instead, “began to believe in him.” What a contrast: unbelief and belief!
We have received the gift of faith, through which we believe all that God has revealed. How does our faith affect our daily living? For example, we know that Jesus redeemed us. Does our belief lead us to confidently ask for forgiveness whenever we sin? Does our belief that God loves us unconditionally enkindle our trust in his provident care for us and for those we love?
Faith grows with use—and life presents us with many opportunities. When we wrestle with greater or lesser questions, suffering, or darkness, it is time to delve deeply into our faith, sometimes struggling to believe. We may even be tempted to stop praying, but this is precisely when we need to continue.
In our Gospel today, Jesus tries to reason with those who want to stone him, to help them recognize the truth: to have faith. He is willing to do the same for us. Let us go to Jesus, asking him for the answers we need and for his help. He will not disappoint us. Although it may seem that solutions elude us, we will gradually recognize his hand at work. We will receive grace, strength, and eventually understanding. Little by little, our life will become ever more deeply founded on faith. Let us pray, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.”
As I reflect on today’s Gospel, Lord, I realize how shaky my faith sometimes is, yet I want to believe deeply. Perhaps part of the reason is that I don’t think about the truths that you have revealed until something goes wrong. It is true that I can zip—and sometimes drag—through life without a thought as to why I am living. I don’t even recognize your hand in my day. Lord, I do believe, but please help my unbelief. Increase my faith. Help me to believe more deeply and to live out of my beliefs today. Amen.
Today I am called to believe.
Daughters of Saint Paul. (2008). Lenten Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections (pp. 100–101). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.