In a university class for doctorate-level students, the professor asked the students about their faith. A man readily responded by saying that he has lost it many years before and it was now just a memory of his youth. Another said she still believes but her faith is riddled with doubts about various things. Finally the professor himself said that it has been years since he last entered a church since he could not feel nourished any longer by the routine and staleness of its practices and its preaching.

It may seem good to imagine that all is well after the Resurrection; that Easter Sunday has dispelled the doubts, reservations, and hesitations of people to believe and accept the faith. But even the gospels show us in many instances how those closest to Jesus could not embrace totally even the most marvelous event of the Resurrection. Take Thomas for example, or the two men going to Emmaus, or the apostles who dismissed the testimony of the women who visited the empty tomb.

Today in the gospel about the Ascension, Matthew tells us: the worshiped him, but some doubted (Mt 29: 17). How can you doubt when you are in front of the Risen One? Why doubt when now you see him going back to heaven?

This gospel tells us that doubt is part of believing. Nobody believes 100 percent. Faith is not something easy and cheap. To believe is to invest commitment, surrender, trust, and obedience – all of which require some effort to achieve. No, faith is not facile. Even the closest disciples had to wrestle with doubts. Many people today do believe but in their heart they have doubts because of their experiences, or because of what goes on in their lives, or because they simple need more convincing from God.

The good news is that Jesus is not repelled by doubts. He did not say “Only those who believe in me totally can walk with me. Those who have even a little doubt, go somewhere else.” Jesus embraced both the firm believers and the doubters. He appeared to them. He responded to them according to their capacity to believe.

I’m sure we pray, go to Mass, have devotions, try to become good Christians and yet in some corner of our mind or heart, there resides doubt. Do not feel embarassed or afraid to approach the Lord. He knows you are not perfect and that your life has not been easy. One day, he will touch our doubts and remove them. Let us just continue to worship, even when we doubt. He accepts us; only he understands us that way.