Wednesday, December 16, 2009

John's Doubt

Did John doubt? One school of thought is that John the Baptist was struggling with doubts, and so he sent some of his disciples to ask Jesus if he was the One. Sr. Ann Shields of Renewal Ministries, in her Food for the Journey broadcast for December 16, encourages us to confront our doubts and seek out the answers. The disciples, Sr. Ann suggests, returned to the Baptist with the report that the blind see, the lame walk, lepers are cured, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. John then made a conscious decision to believe. Some of the sentiments expressed by Sr. Ann can be seen in the collection of Mother Teresa of Calcutta’s personal letters, Come Be My Light.

The other school of thought is that John did not doubt, but his disciples did, and in sending his disciples to Jesus, John was addressing their doubts, not his own. That’s the view adopted by Fr. Mary Mark in his EWTN homily this morning.

The scripture itself is ambiguous on the point, and individual Catholics are free to favor either view.

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