The Gospel of Saint Matthew closes with a journey, a mission that Jesus entrusts to his apostles: “Go, therefore, make disciples of all the nations; baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you.”
Let’s take the role of the disciples and think of a travel project. Let’s start with the most banal elements that we take into account when travelling and that make up the contents of our suitcase: clothes, shoes, toilet bag, books, etc.
Normally the first time we travel, even if we make a list of all those things that are important, we will always, have something – some clothes, shoes or cream – that we forget. No matter how well we plan everything, there is always something beyond our control.
Thus, the second time we travel, when we return to prepare our suitcase, we will surely quickly put in the luggage those things that we forgot to put in the first time. Little by little, in our suitcase, each element takes its fundamental place and we even become experts in preparing for the trip, taking only the essential for the journey. The experience of our previous mistakes helps us to perfect the preparation of the trip, and makes us good teachers who will be able to advise others when they prepare their suitcase.
If we go back to the gospel again and review it, we can find a somewhat hopeless attitude towards the end of the reading: “When they saw him they fell down before him, though some hesitated..” The disciples once again doubt the figure of the risen Christ, despite all the evidence they had already seen.
We could ask ourselves, then, how can God send “hesitant”, “doubtful”, “unbelieving” disciples to spread his Word and teach its precepts? We might even think: Why does God send men to preach? Why not send angels, supernatural and divine beings who have already appeared many times in the gospel to help man or bring him a message from God?
The answer is simple: because we hesitate and doubt. We human beings have the experience of that hesitation in our lives, of that need for control since we are born and develop as adults.
The disciples will be wrong, in the same way that all of us are wrong when we pack our suitcase for the first time, but it is in this mistake that we find the experience to teach, the empathy to understand the doubts of others and thus be able to help them move forward in their faith, in the same way that others helped us when we fell.
Human beings often forget how valuable doubt is to God, the importance it has in the history of the world, and the fundamental role it plays in the feeling of Love that God sends us and that floods every relationship on this wonderful planet. When this happens, when we doubt if we are important, and whether we have relevance in this ephemeral life and full of mistakes, we should only think that Jesus Christ chose us to send his message of love, that he trusted us before ourselves and even more, that he will always accompany us: “And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.”