Sie sind auf Seite 1von 1

17th Sunday of Year B: Holding onto Faith in the Face of Doubt

2 Kings 4.42-44; Ephesians 4.1-6; John 6.1-15

Faith and doubt coexist. Both reinforce each other. While faith allows us to express firm
conviction in what we experience very strong urge to commit ourselves to; doubt emboldens us
to raise questions as our way of distancing our interest from what presents itself for our easy
acceptance. In exercising our ability to raise doubt, we are invariably demanding for reasons that
will offer us some assurance, provide us with some firm foundation so as to be able to
confidently carry on well in life. Without the ability to raise genuine doubt, we will be unable to
tell when someone is out to deceive us. In its turn, faith gives us a solid place to stand, takes care
of our restlessness, and answers our many troubling question. Without faith, our hearts hunger
for peace would be an illusion. In a word, doubt begets faith and faith quietens or puts our doubt
to sleep.

We in today's readings find doubt and faith engaging in some friendly exchange. The friendly
exchange first begins with Prophet Elisha and his unnamed servant. Elisha making faith his
security instructs his servant to share just 20 loaves to 100 people. His servant standing firm on
his doubt that 20 loaves is damn too small for 100 people protests that the loaves wont go
round. In the end, Elishas faith proved stronger in the friendly exchange for it was not just that
the 20 loaves could comfortably feed the 100 people, some leftover were equally gathered.
Turning to the Gospel, we come face to face again with another friendly exchange between faith
and doubt. This time around, it was Jesus who maintains his ground on the side of faith and Philip
and Andrew who find themselves patronising doubt. Jesus, filled with faith, was clear about what
he wants to do with the hungry crowd, though he was asking Philip for a clue. Philip in turn,
overweighed with doubts, turns himself into a pessimistic economist. Andrew in his turn begins
with the good move of observing that a boy has his lunch of 5 loaves and 2 fish ready. However,
he complicated matters when he in doubt adds: but the 5 loaves and 2 fish wont go anywhere in
feeding the crowd of more than 5,000 people at hand. It was at this point that Jesus steps in with
his faith-filled instructions and actions: let the people sit; join me in thankful prayer; share the
loaves and fish to the crowd; collect the leftovers to avoid waste.

One thing that comes through in the lessons of todays readings is this: where doubt stops, faith
takes over in triumph. In the two stories of our readings, where many people were fed with very
few food items, there were leftovers. It is an indication that most of our doubts are unfounded. It
is also an indication that some doubts we exhibit do not tell us the full story. Some doubts stands
only at the beginning of a bigger story where God in the end chooses to manifest His power for
those who pressure on with him in faith. It is the pressuring on that makes Elisha and Jesus feed
the crowds well while leaving some leftovers. We often get stuck in our doubts and never get past
them. When we do so, we are not pressuring on in faith for our fuller story to emerge. May we in
moments of doubt give faith its place in ways that will feed us to the full and leave out some
leftovers as well Amen!