Pilgrimage and the Urgent Question of Faith

“But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Lk 18:8).

We were asked this question twice—once when the Gospel was proclaimed in Latin and once again when it was translated into English. The strange urgency of the question didn’t strike us the first time because the words were foreign, but the second time they were spoken in our native tongue even though we were in a foreign land. The setting was ornate and the occasion was peculiar: we were 19 Americans gathered at the 9:15am Mass in St. John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta, the capital of the tiny rock country in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea known as Malta. We were not tourists but pilgrims and to hear this question on the first morning of our pilgrimage was quite an odd thing. No one would leave for a pilgrimage unless he already assumed there was faith to find “out there”, a faith that he hoped would grow in him. And yet from the lips of Jesus comes the question as to whether he would find any faith on this third rock from the sun. The urgency of that question strikes in a particular way for a novice pilgrim because if faith is not certain then I might as well ask myself: “What am I doing here?” ... read more at Church Life Journal