Our world is longing for a Savior. We long for the coming of the Kingdom with weak hands and wobbly knees. Can we see ourselves as the ones who need the help of a divine physician? If there was one take-away from the year of mercy, it is was that God is not ashamed of our feeble and fainthearted efforts. Throughout the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis kept reminding us that God never tires of lifting us up by His saving grace. It is this boundless mercy that manifests the power of God working through our weakness. We have reason to rejoice.
seems safe to say that, for many of us, the walk in faith has not been
marked with joy and singing. More often than not, we can identify with
John the Baptist: “Are you really the One?” Sitting in his prison cell,
John must have been wracked with the question: “Is this all there is?”
While he did not doubt the fidelity of God, you might say, his faith
needed a boost. The mercy of God reached out to him and the light of
grace shined on his darkness, giving him reason to rejoice. Under the
loving gaze of God, the wilderness of his captivity began to blossom
abundantly. In the life and ministry of Christ, his feeble and faint
heart was encouraged.
I hope you found reassurance in John the
Baptist’s question. Think of it this way, if the forerunner of Christ
struggled with doubt, we are in good company. There is nothing to be
ashamed of when we see our faith getting shaky. Like John the Baptist,
we need to utter the questions that trouble our hearts, not avoid them.
This theme was taken up by Pope Francis during a recent audience with
young people: “We do not need to be afraid of questions and doubts
because they are the beginning of a path of knowledge and going deeper;
one who does not ask questions cannot progress either in knowledge or in
It might be good to
admit our doubts and try to sit with the ambiguity of faith. Ponder the Shoot that sprouted
from the root of Jesse. Ponder the Bread that came down from Heaven. Ponder the Gift that was wrapped in
swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. In the midst of darkness and
gloom, it is good to ponder the star that led men of old to the Light of
the World. The birth of Christ takes faith out of the realms of theory and moves us to perform
acts of loving-kindness for others. Using our weak hands and wobbly
knees we come into the presence of God and find Him in the faces of
those we encounter.
As we deal with our weak hands and wobbly
knees of faith, we need to look around and see the signs that the
Kingdom is erupting in our midst. Jesus’ words to the disciples of John
underscore this. If you look around, you will see the signs of God’s
loving-kindness: ´The blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers
are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the
good news proclaimed to them” (Mat. 11:5). Though our hands be weak and
our knees wobbly, we can lean on Christ.
He will accompany us.
The journey may not be elegant, but the destination is sure – our
heavenly homeland. All that God requires from us is that we depend on
Him and place our weak hands and wobbly knees at His service. Into a
world enveloped in darkness and uncertainty, a light shall shine, the
Light of Christ, the Light of the World.
In that light we shall
look at each other’s face and see the Face of Christ. In that light, we
can lift up our hands and make a joyful noise. In that Light we shall
stand up on our wobbly knees and dance. In that Light we can show forth
the goodness of our God by showing love and compassion for one another.
Let us standup on our wobbly knees and raise our weak hands and prepare
the way for our God. We need only ask the Lord to use us as we are, to
open the door for His coming. I hope you find this prayer of Thomas
Merton an appropriate ending to these reflections.
Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead
of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know
myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does
not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to
please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all
that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that
desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road
though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always
though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not
fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my
--Father Jerome Machar, OSCO