By Tom Kerrigan
Today's scripture says, “And no one dared to ask him any more questions.” I'm left pondering: Why not? Did they fear that Jesus would get upset with them or perhaps even embarrass them?
He had just finished explaining to the scribes two of the most challenging commandments* and suddenly, all questions are off?
After reading this, I am actually left with more questions than answers. However, as a young teacher and a lifelong learner, I have come to appreciate the practice of being inquisitive.
My students are always asking me questions (and some even apologize for bothering me with theirs). I welcome their questions no matter the day, time or place, because they deserve to know the truth.
I do not always have a complete answer or even one at all
however, I strive to model for them that it is healthy and important to ask questions. Interestingly enough, in this passage, Jesus never says that his disciples should not ask any more questions.
Instead, He provides them with confidence and informs them that they "are not far from the Kingdom of God."
I hope that through my own responses--inside and outside the classroom--I have taught my own students that they are on the right track.
Sr. Pat Harrington (a Sister of Mercy who was the spiritual backbone of my high school) once shared with me that
"a faith unquestioned is a faith that is stagnant and dead."
I could not agree more for my Catholic faith has also been a fountain of curiosities, doubts and certainly questions. Am I supposed to remain at this job, even though I feel like I am just going through the motions? Why am I suddenly struggling with this Church teaching that I have always agreed with before? I don’t get anything out of the Mass anymore so why should I keep going?
For me, this type of faith ultimately leads me to a reliance upon God
for an answer that can only be revealed by our incredibly omniscient God. So, next time you have a question, I challenge you to ask ...no matter what you think the consequences may be.
**Love of God and love of neighbor
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
My name is Tom Kerrigan and my grace-filled journey has led me to encounter others throughout many different campuses, cities and countries. I consider myself to be a devout Irish Catholic as well as an accepting, compassionate individual. For the past five years or so, I have been serving as a full-time guidance counselor, AP Psychology teacher, Campus Minister and varsity running coach at Bishop Connolly High School in Fall River, MA. In my spare moments, I enjoy spending quality time with my wife and family. I am an avid sports fan, amateur chef (an even better dishwasher!) and constant explorer of God’s natural beauty.