Homilies

Provoke Questions!

Are our lives so on fire with God’s love that they demand explanation?

Readings for the day


Are we living lives that provoke questions? 

True Christian witness is a very odd thing. Holiness inevitably causes a stir — It makes people curious, perhaps angry, annoyed. And we know it when we see it. In a word: it’s almost impossible to remain indifferent in the presence of someone who is truly on fire with Christ’s life and love. Nobody is apathetic towards a saint. They either love them… or martyr them.

Jesus is the model and the source of this question-provoking holiness. Our gospel passage today happens to come shortly after the cleansing of the Temple episode — an event which certainly raised some questions. 

And rightfully so! 

Simply put: Jesus’ actions demand an explanation. The way he spoke, the way he served, the way he loved, and now the way he made a whip out of cords and drove people out of the Temple: All of this bewildering behavior required answers.

We need to take note of this! Jesus lived in such a radical way that he created space for good questions — the really necessary questions — Questions that open people up to the life of God’s grace.

Now enter the Sadducee’s, who bring Jesus a question about the Resurrection of the dead. Regardless of their motives, good or bad, at least they were willing to ask the question! Even if they might have been aimed at trapping Jesus in his words, their question provided an opportunity for them to have a conversation with God.

It has been said: “Nothing is so incredible as an answer to an unasked question.”

Christianity is the Answer to the questions of the human heart. But if the question is no longer being asked, it’s no wonder that our faith seems so un-believable, so irrelevant. No wonder people seem so indifferent to God if they’ve stopped wondering! Such is the secular world we are preparing to go out and minister to, brothers.

So I ask again: Are we living lives that provoke questions? Are we so on fire with Christ’s love that people feel the need to ask: What is up with them? 

Would the Sadducees of today even bother to ask us our opinion on something that matters to them?

Or —have we done too good a job of blending into the cultural background? Have we succeeded in becoming perfectly tolerable? Are we no longer different enough to spark those deeper questions that lead to real conversations? Real conversion? Have we forfeited that wild, bewildering witness to Christ that absolutely demands an explanation?

In the breaking of the Bread this morning, may we grow more and more convinced that Jesus Christ is THE Answer to the question of the human heart. He IS the Resurrection and the Life!

I’d like to end with words taken from a book entitled In Sinu Jesu, which is a series of conversations that a Benedictine monk had with the Lord. In one passage, Jesus says:

“Ask Me whatever questions you feel are necessary and seek My gentle guidance in all things. Never refrain from conversation with Me. Every conversation includes both questions and answers. Speak to me confidently and without fear of being misunderstood or judged. I know your inmost thoughts and the questions you bring to Me in the Sacrament of My love are clearly known to Me. Nonetheless, I desire to hold conversation with you because I have chosen you to be My friend and to abide in love, close to My heart.”

About Anthony Ferguson

Anthony Ferguson is a transitional deacon preparing for the priesthood of Jesus Christ for the Catholic Diocese of Richmond. He is currently in Fourth Theology at Theological College in Washington DC.
View all posts by Anthony Ferguson →

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