The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”
The Gospel this week is what Christians refer to as the “Great Commission” to which we are all called. Jesus tells His Disciples just ahead of His Ascension into Heaven to “go and make Disciples of all nations”. Jesus’ command here is very straight-forward, but what often gets overlooked here are the two words, “they doubted”. At times, we’re so interested in what’s for dessert, that we overlook the main course right in front of us. How could the Disciples still be doubting the Resurrected Jesus who was standing right in front of them – wounded body and all? He was butchered right in front of many in Jerusalem and there was no doubt that He had died (even the Roman soldier gave him one last poke to be sure). Let’s not forget that there was a global earthquake, blood red moon, and a tearing of the veil of the Temple when Jesus gave up His Spirit, too. The Disciples had been right there with Jesus when he healed infirmities, cured diseases, walked on water, fed thousands with morsels, and rose several from the dead (to name just a few of the Miracles that Jesus performed)! And, now, like St. Thomas who had to put his fingers in Christ’s wounds to know for himself that Jesus was alive again, some of the rest of Disciples were doubting again. Now, we shouldn’t be too hard on the Disciples, Adam and Eve, King David, Moses, or the entire cast of Characters that make-up the Believers in the Old and New Testaments. All of them like all of us lived in earthly flesh; not in Holy Bodies in Heaven with God. And, again, nobody can stand-up to the devil and win. The battles that we have with satan and his demons (who are mostly 5-star generals in the Angel world) are meant to be given to God for His intercession and assistance. Sure, we should Pray and resist the devil (and he “will flee from us” as in James 4:7), but we shouldn’t go “toe-to-toe” with satan. That’s a job for Someone Else(s) with more Seniority than us. Doubting is a normal part of our lives and the devil has been “prowling about the world seeking the ruin of Souls” for thousands of years honing his skills 24/7/365 to get us to doubt. That’s all satan has on his agenda. It’s kind of like when my older Sons ask how does their little Sister seem to know everything that they’re doing; especially when she tattles on them. I’m quick to remind them that she’s eleven and has very little to manage or focus on; she’s got capacity to focus on them and remember things (her memory card isn’t as full as theirs’). We shouldn’t be shocked by our moments of doubt and we certainly shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves when we doubt. But, when we find ourselves doubting, we need to re-Focus on Him and His Word. By focusing on Jesus and the Bible, we can get back to the business of Evangelizing to those in our circles, our care, and the world; as Jesus told us to when He continued in the Gospel with, “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” Again, it’s that simple. Let’s be sure to remember that Faith doesn’t make things easy, but it makes them possible. And, possible is everything.