Many of us looking at the modern world, wonder with considerable worry: where is it all going? We encounter the pointing of fingers at those who, instead of good, advertise evil and sin, emphasise the scandals done by such and such people, show those who fight against God or the Church and add: how did we come to live in such desperate times. And then there is the war, the pandemic, the climate problems. However, it is difficult to judge the whole world. For in this world there has always been good and evil, there have been saints and scorners. They were and will be. Perhaps, then, instead of asking the whole world, we – attending the Eucharist today – need to realise, like the Apostles, that today Jesus is asking us this question above all:
Will I find you believers when I come?
Will I find you steadfast or already cold in faith?
What will the Lord Jesus find us to be like?
What are we like today?
Jesus will come to us today in a moment in the Eucharist, but what if Jesus stood before me?
Or if He came for just one of us today, if it came for one of us to die today?
Would he find in us persevering faith, tireless prayer? I trust that in many of us he would.
There is a place that in truly encounter hope. That place is the confessional. Sometimes, as a confessor, I come out of the confessional after hearing many confessions a little ashamed and concerned. Ashamed because of those who confess with a faith perhaps greater than mine, humbled by those who return to God after many years of absence. Encouraged by those who speak of their persistent struggle with weakness, moved by the desperate plea for help from those who are failing in life, who have lost their way. How much the sea of God’s grace overflows there, in that place! So if Jesus had asked me: can I find faith on earth today? – and asked: show me where I can find it! – then I would lead Him to the encounter in the Confessional first.
And I would say: see, Jesus – how many here believe in You and persevere in picking themselves up from the fall, persevere in prayer. Perhaps I would also bring Jesus to those sick and suffering, to the elderly who confidently repeat each day: Jesus, I trust in you – and endure their suffering, often holding a rosary in their hands. I would bring Jesus to children who can say with simplicity: I love the Lord Jesus.
But would I bring Him to me?
And would you have brought Him to you?
Would He find persevering faith there?
How is it with this perseverance of ours?
After all, sometimes we are able to pray so fervently, and at other times, perhaps when it is not so difficult for us, when everything is going well, we find ourselves so easily dismissed from this persistent prayer…. Meanwhile, perseverance in prayer helps us first and foremost – to reflect on what is really good. Perseverance teaches to take God seriously. It teaches to trust Him in every situation.
” When the Son of Man comes, will he find any faith on earth?” – asks the Lord Jesus today as well. May this question mobilise us to persevere in faith and in prayer. So that, you and I, if Jesus were to ask us to point out where he would find faith in the world, we could confidently say to him: Jesus, come to me!