Bro. Ryan M. Recto
In our world today, it is easy to find answers for every single question we have. One click in our computers, and we would know how to lose weight or where in the world is Catedral de Sal de Zipaquirá.
Finding answers to the questions of the disciples of Christ, however, was not that easy. In the Gospel of Mark, the disciples were depicted as clueless guys who did not even know what questions to ask. They seemed afraid to raise queries regarding Jesus’ revelation about his death and resurrection. For what reason? Maybe it was hard to fathom that a person for whom they dedicated their life and for whom they abandoned their own respective families and livelihood would suffer and die, and be resurrected. It is understandable that confusion could easily rise in their minds if all that they had hoped for is suddenly revealed as not forthcoming. The Messianic times, they believed, is to lead them into liberation (which was then interpreted to be Israel’s freedom from Roman domination). It must have seemed incompatible with the presentation of a suffering and dying messiah.
Could it be that as they had to contend with the death of Jesus, they were already talking about the succession plan so that one of them can prepare and get ready to take over Jesus’ ministry. Could it be that in wanting to escape the truth presented to them, they decided to focus on another less stressful but very “interesting” subject? Perhaps, the disciples’ fear of what was revealed led them to a state of denial that they would rather talk about something else than the details of his revelation. Their fear painted them into the corner of helpless grappling with reality.
Then and now, it is important for his disciples to have the virtue of fortitude. It ensures determination in every difficulties and faithfulness in the search of the good. It strengthens the resolve to resist temptations and to overcome obstacles in the moral life. The virtue of fortitude enables one to conquer fear, even fear of death, and to face trials and persecutions. It disposes of one even to renounce and sacrifice his life in defense of a just cause. (CCC,1808). Fortitude enables us to accept our weaknesses and embrace our imperfections. It helps us to humble oneself and do great things in the name of God.
In the gospel, Jesus encourages us to have the virtue of fortitude so that we can serve God by serving His people, especially the littlest ones, without hesitation. We act not in our own name but in the name of the Father. In the time when we have a lot of questions, let us take courage to ask God for grace that we may understand and humbly accept His answer in our own limited capacity.