Today’s Gospel tells the story of how most of his followers left Jesus because they did not believe he could give them his flesh to eat. They all still believed in God, they just no longer believed in Jesus.
There are two steps to our believing. The first step is that we must believe in God. The second step is that we must believe that Jesus is God’s only Son who has come into this world.
Good clear thinking is help enough for us to take that first step of believing in God. The second step of believing in Jesus as God’s anointed one calls for God giving us the gift of Faith.
For an atheist to change by taking that step to believing in God I think all that is necessary is that he take a clear look at the universe of which he is a part. starting with himself.
Science clearly demonstrates that his or her body is composed of millions of cells, each of which is composed of millions of DNA molecules.
I myself am a Grandfather Clock with millions of interlocking parts that was set in motion eighty-eight years ago, and is still ticking along fine. Intricate clocks like each of us don’t come together naturally with their parts ticking away. They need a great watchmaker.
Dante published his Diving Comedy just eight hundred years ago. His story related how he had been in love with a girl named Beatrice who died while young. In his epic he imagined Beatrice from heaven arranging for him to travel through hell and purgatory.
In the story when Dante reached heaven, he discovered that everything there, while being new, was also oddly familiar, so he asked Beatrice to explain that to him. She said, “All things among themselves possess an order, and this order is the form that makes the universe like God.”
So, for belief in God, nothing more is needed than that you believe in his reflection in the order everywhere throughout our universe.
But, clear thinking alone cannot bring us to belief in Christ. You are like a child, and your father is asking you to trust him by taking a leap into the deep water. For belief in Christ that is required of you. You must go by what St. Paul said in Romans, 8:24, “In hope we were saved. Now, hope that sees for itself is not hope. For who hopes for what one sees?” We need the gift of Faith.