Audio version at: https://youtu.be/FsE8-zvRpRg
Prepare to Listen. In your silence, offer this prayer: You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
Prayerfully Read John 16:25-33
25‘I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures, but will tell you plainly of the Father. 26On that day you will ask in my name. I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; 27for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and am going to the Father.’ 29His disciples said, ‘Yes, now you are speaking plainly, not in any figure of speech! 30Now we know that you know all things, and do not need to have anyone question you; by this we believe that you came from God.’ 31Jesus answered them, ‘Do you now believe? 32The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each one to his home, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me.
33I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!’
This Lenten journey began with Jesus’ invitation, “Come and see.” As the disciples journeyed with Jesus, they had days when they were sure they saw clearly, sure they knew and believed, but then there were days when they didn’t see, couldn’t understand Jesus’ figures of speech and parables. Now, as the end approached, Jesus spoke plainly, no longer in parables. The disciples finally understood and confidently boasted, “we know, we believe.” They didn’t really. Jesus knew this, that their faith journey wasn’t over. They’d soon scatter, leaving him to suffer alone. Thus, instead of commending them, he gently confronted them, making them think honestly: “Do you now believe?”
True faith goes through ups and downs. Some days we’re so sure we know and believe, other days, when things go wrong, like a relentless global pandemic, we’re filled with uncertainty and doubt. On those days it’s hard to honestly answer Jesus’ question, “Do you now believe?” His question calls us back to the reality of a faith of ups and downs. We discover that faith isn’t something we possess and can easily control. Faith’s an ongoing journey that includes doubts and questions, and sometimes, not as often as we’d like, certainties and answers. This faith of ups and downs isn’t, as Tomáš Halík maintains a “halfhearted faith” . It’s the real thing. Only as we go through the struggles, the doubts, the ‘Good Fridays’ of life, will we attain the fulness of Easter certainty.
Where are you on the journey of “I know…, I believe”?
Respond to Jesus
Lord Jesus, you are always real and encouraging. In my certainties, you remind me I haven’t arrived yet. In my questions and doubts, you assure me I’m still on the Way and will see more clearly in the end. Keep me walking this ongoing journey with a faith of ups and downs. Amen.
Go live obediently in the world, experiencing faith as an ongoing journey, not a possession.
 Halík, Tomáš. I Want You to Be, 2016, p. 7.
Reflection on Scripture has been a constant in my life ever since I can remember. Reflecting on Jesus in the Gospels has become a necessity to get Jesus right. Join me in reading John to see Jesus more clearly this Lent.