Samantha Smith ’95

“They worshiped, but they doubted.”

This line in today’s gospel stood out to me because I have done the exact same thing. How many times have I gone to Mass to worship, even when my faith was weak and faltering? I have doubted, just as the disciples doubted. The disciples knew Jesus, they walked with him, heard his message, and talked with him face to face. At this point in Matthew’s Gospel, they have even witnessed his resurrection. Yet, they still doubted.

I once fell into a conversation with a person (whom I consider a spiritual mentor) on the topic of faith and doubt and he told me this: real faith isn’t the absence of doubt, just like true courage isn’t the absence of fear.

Courage requires us to face our fears and act courageously in response to those fears. Faith requires us to face our doubts and live with fidelity to the Gospel in spite of our doubts. In fact, if we didn’t have doubts, we wouldn’t need faith. If we had pure certainty, what would be the point of faith? Nothing!

The last line of the gospel passage is the real takeaway, for me. Jesus tells us, “I am with you always, until the end of the age.” While it can be difficult to know that Jesus is actually with us, he promises that he will be. That might not prevent us from doubting, from time to time (just like the disciples), but it can never diminish Christ’s promise. He is with us.