Today’s Gospel: John 19:31-37
Although I have never personally met George Washington, I believe he crossed the Delaware River. Nor have I met Amelia Earhart, yet I do not doubt her solo flight across the Atlantic. Although not personally acquainted with Christopher Columbus, I trust it is true that he sailed the ocean blue in 1492. Why then did I struggle for so long to believe the story of Jesus?
George, Amelia and Chris were not the only ones to have their feats recorded. Jesus had miracles observed, teachings heard, and many present for his crucifixion. Crowds saw, spoke, and dined with Jesus after His resurrection. Testimony was even shared from people whom would have preferred His legacy not continue for over 2000 years.
This realization, that Jesus’ life was not just stories in a book but real events passed down from the people who lived them alongside Him, transformed and solidified my faith. In today’s Gospel we read about one of those real people. “But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe.” Catholic tradition has holds this soldier to be St. Longinus. It is said that Longinus was nearly blind, and was healed when some of the blood and water from Jesus fell into his eyes. It was then he exclaimed “Indeed, this was the Son of God!” [Mark 15:39]. This encounter converted the centurion.
How long I resisted the truth of who Jesus is. Witness accounts, such as St. Longinus, remind me of the reality of Jesus’ existence. People observed, believed, and gave testimony, so that I may also believe.
How does considering Jesus as a historic figure affect your faith in Him?
My Lord and My God, may my eyes be open to see You for Who You truly are. May I too proclaim with confidence, “Indeed, this is the Son of God.” St. Longinus, pray for us.
Copyright 2018 Allison Gingras
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