Who Is Jesus?, by Peter Kreeft, explores questions about who Jesus is to Christians and how find out more about Him. The reading demonstrates these questions through a conversation between a Christian believer and an individual who is open to learning more about faith. Whether we are doubters, agnostics, or believers, many people have considered similar questions, so Kreeft offers us thoughtful ways to think about and find answers to these common ideas.
Why does Jesus not help us when we are suffering? During hard times, people often wonder why God doesn’t just fix the problems, which leads to frustration and the possibility of turning away from the Lord. Because God is our father, he shares the same love that parents have for their children, but greater. When a child suffers, the parent does too. They feel the pain; when their child is hurt, they too are hurt. Because Jesus was once a man on earth, and God is Jesus, God has felt physical pain the same way we do. Jesus has fallen, gotten a cut, stubbed his toe, and been sick, giving him experiences of the physically painful situations that we go through. He not only felt his own pain, but all of ours as well. Jesus is the only person who is is perfect. He is the only one who does not deserve to suffer, yet he did more than any of us.
Why are we reluctant to say Jesus is one hundred percent what he says to be? The answer to this is love. Jesus is love and as people, we are often deeply afraid of love. We are afraid to get hurt, which can sometimes stem from the love that we experience on earth. We must remember that God’s love is different. It is eternal, unconditional love; it is caritas. God’s love will never hurt us, but the failure to accept his love may be what causes damage. We are called to love our neighbours, which can be especially difficult when they may not love us back, but if we cannot fully love those who are physically around us, how will we be able to give back to God the complete love that he offers us? God’s answer is always love, so we must get rid of our fear and love both our friends and our enemies in order to understand God’s solution.
When we first meet someone, we must ask questions and spend time talking to them before we really get to know them. The same happens with God. In order to know and understand God, we must ask questions. Wisdom is developed through answers, and without questions, there are no answers. As Catholics, we must be honest seekers. If we ask questions we already have answers to, hoping for a different answer that we would rather hear, we are not honest. Honesty comes from true curiosity and from the desire to find the truth. Whatever questions we have, chances are, someone else does too. If the question is whether God exists or not, we can ask him by saying a simple prayer like this: “God, if you really do exist, it is clear that you must be a good man, a wise man, a great moral teacher. Jesus told us that all who seek find, so here I am seeking. I am open to the truth. I am an honest seeker. I’m searching for a way in, not a way out. I want to know you better, so here I am asking you. God, who are you really?”
To be a Catholic believer, we must understand who God really is. God is Jesus, and Jesus felt physically pain on earth, as well as the pain and suffering of each and every one of us. God is love, so in order to love him, we must love all those around us. We cannot be afraid of love, because that is the Lord’s answer to everything. If we are still searching for answers and don’t quite understand, we must have a conversation with God. Being an honest seeker is what allows us to deepen our faith, and there is nothing wrong with asking sincere questions.