Faith Makes You a Possibilitarian!
Fr. Francis Scaria
The famous French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte said, “Impossible is a word only to be found in the dictionary of fools”. We know from history that this outlook gave him an impetus to explore all possibility, but one day he came face to face with ‘the impossible’. We are familiar with the old saying, “where there is a will, there is a way”. The truth is that there is always a greater realm of unexplored possibility in the lives of individuals and communities. Strong determination and our attempt to go beyond what is conventionally believed to be possible usher in innovations. The innovators explore the unexplored possibilities. When Thomas Edison invented the electric bulb, he was leading the world to the unexplored world of possibilities. The Wright Brothers too give us an example of attempting to do something that was considered impossible until then.
Hence there has to be a distinction between what is subjectively impossible and what is objectively impossible. What is not subjectively possible for some may be possible for others. But we know that there are many things that are impossible for any human being.
Impossibility is an insurmountable wall. But God conquers the unconquerable. Abraham encountered an impossibility. He was childless. He was too old to have a child. He was one hundred years old and his wife 90 years. To such a couple God was talking about blessing their offspring and innumerable descendants. Abraham took it for a joke. Genesis 17:17 says, “Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said to himself, "Can a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Can Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?" Sarah too laughed to herself saying, "After I have grown old, and my husband is old, shall I have pleasure?" (Gen 18:12). In Gen 18:14 the couple is given a point for reflection: “Is anything too wonderful (other translations are “too hard”, “too marvelous”) for the Lord?” God not only explained to them that He was not kidding, instead everything was possible for Him, but he also enabled Abraham to believe that even when his only son Isaac is sacrificed at the Lord’s command, God would do something greater for him.
When the Israelites were at the point of ‘no way out’, God made a way through the Red Sea. Most of the miracles of Jesus recorded in the Bible are impossibilities turned into possibilities by the ‘finger of God’. To those who boasted about their descend from Abraham, Jesus says, “God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham” (Mt 3:9).
God is the greatest possibilitarian because “nothing is impossible with God” (Lk 1:37). God shares His possibilitarianism with us. Jesus says, “truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, "Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you." (Mt 17:20). Regarding the possibility of any human being entering heaven, Jesus says, “"For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible." (Mt 19:26; Mk 10:27)
Resurrection is the grand proclamation of Christian possibilitarianism. For the secular world the death is the end, but for a Christian, death is another and greater beginning. Death is only a transition from this world to the other.
Yet, we should keep in mind that God does not do all that is possible, but He does everything according to His Holy Will. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prays, “"Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want." (Mk 14:36).
Jesus calls us to believe the incredible. He tells Thomas, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” (Jn 20:29). Faith is the exit door from our world of impossibility and is the entrance to the world without impossibility. Oh! My God!
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