3rd Wednesday of Advent
‘Are you the one who is to come or should we look for another’ This question with all its anguish, coming as it does from John the Baptist, the Forerunner himself, who leapt in the womb at the Lord’s presence – this question is shocking and yet most human. Pope Emeritus Benedict speaking about the fragility of faith spoke of the void that opens and seethes beneath the believer and that remains nevertheless the threatening force in his day to day life.’
Jesus of course who never makes things easy – offers no direct answer. The simple answer, He offers the Baptist is – see for yourself what is happening. What takes place around the Son of Man comes with its own light, and this light is sufficient, but it still is risky because what you will perceive will lay a burden on your soul to surrender your very life and yet you still have no demonstration or mathematical proof. Neither can you sit on the fence after you have seen because then you will have sinned against the invitation of the light. There is no middle ground with the light.
The English poet Coventry Patmore, a convert to Catholicism captured the risk involved in faith when he said ‘the only evidence the Church appeals to is self-evidence. Great is his faith who dares believes his own eyes – go tell John what you have seen and heard. But we must have the courage not to deny in the darkness what we have seen in the light.