I recently read a biography of the celebrated physicist Albert Einstein in which the author described an expedition to observe the 1919 solar eclipse which confirmed Einstein’s theory concerning the curvature of space, a scientific guess that was based on his general theory of relativity. Some years later, a student asked Einstein, what would you have said if there had been no confirmation of your theory? Einstein replied, “I would have been obliged to pity our dear God, the theory is correct.”
Now, one might be tempted to view his response as arrogance bordering on blasphemy, but that would have been very much unlike Einstein. Rather, his statement reflects the
unshakable confidence of someone who knows that his basic theory is sound and that whatever is derived from it can be counted on to be true.
In today’s gospel the disciples are accused of lacking faith, but what they really seem to be having is a crisis of confidence. It isn’t so much that they don’t have any faith
but that they don’t trust in their faith or in themselves. Our Lord seems to be asking his disciples, haven’t you learned anything from me? Don’t you trust what I have been saying and doing?
Mrs Einstein was once asked if she understood her husband’s famous theory of relativity. “No,” she replied, “but I know my husband, and I know he can be trusted.” We may not always understand what we believe or exactly how we are to act on that belief, but we can be confident, even when our faith seems inadequate. And this is because our faith is rooted in the person of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and we know that he can be trusted completely.