CHARLESTON—Young adults had the opportunity to learn more about Lent during the “Java with Jesus” series held recently at Pauline Books and Media Center.
Father Gregory B. Wilson, rector pro tem of the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, kicked off the three-part series on the walks of Jesus. In his talk, “A Walk on the Water,” the priest discussed trying to find Jesus in life’s difficulties, and not just in the easy times.
Father Wilson began with a reading from the Gospel of Matthew where Jesus called Peter to walk on water with Him. For a brief moment Peter did — until he began to doubt.
“We often overlook that the miracle happened, at least for a time. And Peter was one of us,” he said. “One of us walked on water.”
Doubting is often where people begin to fall short in their faith. To recover, Father Wilson said, people have to be honest. He said it is common to fall into the trap of asking why God would let tragedy happen, like the earthquakes that rocked Haiti and Chile. The problem with asking this question or doubting God, however, is that Christians often aren’t ready for the answer, he said.
“We do not know everything; we don’t know why this has happened,” Father Wilson said. “It is the ‘mystery of evil’ as Pope John Paul II would have said.
“Our sin has even deformed the physical world, and we have to choose to make God a part of our lives so we have to suffer when someone else chooses a different path,” he added.
He went on to say that even though we don’t know the answer, it doesn’t mean there isn’t one — just that only God knows it. Part of the answer is that suffering means our sins have been redeemed.
“If you are suffering then in a mystical way, Christ is suffering with you,” Father Wilson said.
The priest then spoke about a need to belong and a need to be loved. He said we all belong through Jesus, that “we are bound together through the body of Christ, and God is able to use everything. It is never wasted if you allow him to use it.”
Father Wilson told the group of about 35 people that they must look beyond themselves and see past their own crosses in order to know they have been redeemed.
“We want to make a difference and we have to start acting like the people we are: his body,” he said.
The “Java with Jesus” series continued March 10 with Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone and concluded with a talk by two Dominican Sisters of Nashville on March 15.