Mt. 11: 2-11




John the Baptist was a sensation in his time! He was a popular religious figure, with followers of his own. His powerful preaching resounded in the hearts of the people. Because of him, many were drawn to repentance and conversion to God. The highlight of his ministry happened one day, when the Lamb of God he preached about humbly approached him to be baptized.


In today’s gospel however, we see a different John. Instead of standing in the midst of a crowd, he is alone in a prison. Instead of thunderous preaching, he is reduced to silence and obscurity. Visited by some of his followers, he expressed his doubts. He asked them to go to Jesus and inquire if he really were the Messiah Israel seeks.


Today the world is enveloped in a great uncertainty. There is doubt on a global scale as people refuse to believe the lies that governments, institutions, and even churches say. There is doubt about the future as we feel the pangs of hunger, oppression, and corruption both in private and public arenas. There is doubt within ourselves as we ponder the future that is just rising from the ashes of a pandemic that altered the course of history.


Most painful of all, is the doubt of faith. We all go through experiences that put our faith in trial. While we do good to others, like John the Baptist, we are misunderstood and maligned. While we try to be faithful to our mission, like John the Baptist, we see our efforts crumbling in the dust because of the work of enemies. While we point out the Lamb of God to others, we at times, question, whether he really cares, or does he now abandon our hopes.


Advent is a great time to ponder on our doubts. The Lord Jesus does not brush off our doubts as he did not ignore the doubt of John, his cousin and messenger, his precursor. The Lord knows that even faithful people are weak and susceptible to discouragement and despair. And he knows that faithful people, when they express their doubts, are not refusing to believe but are in fact, trying to believe more.


That was why the Lord gave John signs of hope. He told John’s disciples how the promises of God are slowly being fulfilled in his life, in his actions, and in his own mission. He told them to tell John not to lose faith but to believe that his efforts were not in vain. He was part of God’s unfolding, gentle, yet powerful and great plan!


As we prepare for Christmas, let us offer to the Lord even our doubts, our pain, frustrations, and difficulties. He will give us hope. He is our one great HOPE in the world!