“Why do questions arise in your hearts?”

These are Jesus’ words to the disciples right after his Resurrection. “Why are you troubled? Why do questions arise in your hearts?”

People have a lot of questions today. Lots of them are good questions. And I just want to make clear that what Jesus is NOT saying here, guys, is… sit down, shut up, and don’t ask any questions.

That has, unfortunately, been a lot of people’s experience with religion.

“Don’t ask questions! SHHHH… You’re not allowed to ask any questions!”

But that’s not what Jesus is saying. What he’s saying is this: 

Do not doubt your beliefs! Believe your beliefs! Here I am in the flesh!

You all need to be aware of this:

Every single day, the devil is trying VERY hard to get you to doubt all your beliefs and believe all your doubts… This is, like, his entire game. I’m just gonna go ahead and expose him right here, right now… Let’s shine a bright light on this, Church:

The devil wants us all to be skeptics…

“Did God really say that you would die if you ate that fruit???”

Are you sure you can’t just take one little nibble? Just a tiny taste?

What’s the enemy doing here?

He’s encouraging Adam and Eve to ask the wrong kinds of questions!

Questions that would lead them to distrust their Creator… to doubt God’s motives! … He’s encouraging them to doubt… to be skeptical — to ask the sorts of questions that would make Adam and Eve wonder whether or not the Lord really had their best interests at heart!

This is important! 

Because even though Jesus does rebuke his disciples: “Why do questions arise in your hearts” — We can clearly see that there is a HUGE difference between GOOD questions that lead us deeper and deeper into Truth… and BAD questions that only lead us into more and more skepticism, doubt, and dissent!

People will often say today: “There’s no such thing as a bad question.” Well, sorry… but I would tend to disagree!

Take, for example, the difference between the Blessed Virgin Mary and Zechariah, the father of St. John the Baptist, when the angel comes to them: 

Both Mary and Zechariah ask questions. Both them basically ask: “How is it possible for me to have a child right now?”

But Zechariah asks with a skeptical, calculating, and doubting heart…

…Whereas Mary asks with sincerity and total receptivity to God! 

Zechariah asks a bad question. Mary asks a good one.

It’s very interesting to note here that when Jesus says in our gospel today: “Why are you troubled?” — Why do questions arise? — The only other time the gospel of Luke uses that particular greek word for “troubled” is when he describes Zechariah’s doubting response to the angel Gabriel’s message…

As we all know, God respects and loves the humility of Mary in this exchange. He honors her question because she asks it in a spirit of openness and receptivity. With faith alive in her heart!

And that’s ultimately what I felt convicted to preach on today: 

It’s ok for you to ask questions about your faith!

Don’t doubt your faith — QUESTION it. Like, with that eager desire to know what’s really REAL.

I love it when people come to me honestly grappling with their faith…

I get super energized when people are on a journey to verify whether or not the Bible, the Catechism, and the Church are worth believing…

Whether God is really there… whether He really loves them.

So go for it! PLEASE… You have my permission! ASK QUESTIONS.

The Catholic Faith is robust enough to withstand your onslaught of questioning. Our faith is fully equipped to handle whatever you might throw at it! Trust me when I say this: 

You have not asked any question that hasn’t been asked by somebody way holier and way smarter than you already.

We have two thousand years of saints, theologians, philosophers, and mystics who show us that Christianity is not a blind and ignorant faith — it’s not just about mindlessly agreeing with random rules and theological facts… No! The saints teach us that our faith is a relationship of continual discovery and adventure!

…It’s ‘faith seeking understanding,’ as Saint Anselm once put so well. 

…It’s an intelligent and life-giving friendship with God the Father who actually DOES WANT to share the unchanging Truth with us!!! “Ask… and you SHALL receive. Seek… and you WILL find. Knock… and the door WILL be opened!”

Therefore, there’s absolutely nothing to fear from the Truth…

Because ultimately, Truth is a Person.

Truth is Jesus Christ risen from the dead.

See his hands and his feet. Touch his wounds! 

Truth is not a ghost. Truth has flesh and bones.

You can go and ask Him questions!

…And He will mercifully lead you by the Hand to very…very… VERY GOOD answers.

Answers that will both satisfy you… and keep you asking.

Answers that will bring you life, love, and high beauty.

Answers that will demand from you sacrifice and the deepest surrender.

Answers that will invite you to let go of many of your own ideas and expectations.

Answers that will be quite hard and unyielding — as hard as the Cross. 

Answers that will often go against the prevailing opinions of the world.

But they are really, really, really good Answers.

…Because they are Christ’s Answers. 

The Catholic Church proposes a total explanation of the Meaning of Life. The Catholic Church offers the biggest, most vast, most incredible, most all-encompassing Truth claims that you will find on the religious market.

These claims… when taken dead serious… cannot just be brushed aside.

They cannot be lightly ignored.

You have to face them head on.

You have to verify them with your own personal experience.

In a way, you’re almost forced to ask:

“Is this true?”

Is Jesus really raised from the dead?

Does God really know me and love me as much as Fr. Anthony says He does?

Is the Catholic Church really the Church He established in 33 AD?

Are the Scriptures really God’s Word?

Are the Seven Sacraments really the way we get Christ’s LIFE into us?

Is the Holy Spirit still guiding and protecting this Church down to the present day?

St. John Henry Newman once famously said: “Ten thousand difficulties do not make one doubt!” 

That’s really amazing isn’t it?

Ten thousand difficulties — ten thousand good, sincere, honest, TRUTH-SEEKING questions… do not add up to a single doubt.

So do me a favor:

Ask the really HARD questions. 

I dare you!

Ask “why” the Church teaches such and such about this or that hot button topic… Why does the Church only believe in marriage between one man and one woman? Why do we only ordain male priests? Why can’t couples who are having trouble conceiving a baby use IVF or surrogacy?


Go right ahead and ask those incredibly hard questions! 


But here’s the thing:

When you ask those sorts of questions with a sincere, humble desire for truth, then I am convinced that you will — in time and by God’s grace — come to the same conclusion, the same perspective as the Church.


Because the perspective of the Church is the perspective of Christ.

The teachings of the Magisterium are the teachings of Jesus.

Conversely, if — after asking those hard questions — you come to a different conclusion than the Church’s beliefs, then I humbly encourage you:

Ask again.

And when you do, make sure that you are really honestly pursuing the TRUTH… 

…Make sure that you’re not just looking for the answers that YOU WANT TO HEAR!!!! …Make absolutely sure that you’re not just trying to get Jesus to agree with you.

Saint Paul warned us about that sort of thing when he predicted that “the time [was] coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths.”

The fact is: There are plenty of people today, both inside and outside of the Church who are lined up to tell you exactly what you wanna hear. They are more than happy to be your own little personal echo-chamber.

They will tell you “I know Jesus” — “I know the truth that Jesus would preach today in modern times! Listen to me!” And then they go on to teach something completely contrary to the Gospel, contrary to the Catechism, contrary to the Church…contrary to Jesus!!!!

It’s as our second reading put it so clearly: “Those who say, “I know him,” but do not keep his commandments are liars, and the truth is not in them.”

So, yea… go on and ask questions, but be ready to humbly accept the Truth, even when it may disrupt your current mindset and convictions… Be prepared to convert! To repent! To change your mind…

In the book ‘The Imitation of Christ,’ we find this: “By all means ask questions, but listen to what holy writers have to tell you. Do not find fault with the hard sayings of antiquity — their authors had good reason for writing as they did.”

Keep asking life’s deepest questions… Don’t settle for ANYTHING less than the Truth!

And know that Jesus loves you very very much, and greatly desires you to come into agreement with Him… agreement with the Truth…He wants you to be in COMMUNION with the Truth! To believe your beliefs and doubt your doubts …So that you may have life in Him.