The Holy Gospel according to John (20:24-29)
Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” But Thomas said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.” Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
Reflection: When we are at mass and during the Eucharistic Prayer, the priest consecrates the host by raising it the Holy Body; then the priest says, “This is my body which will be given up for you”. We silently respond with these words “My Lord and My God”. We are stating with these words that we TRULY BELIEVE that the presence of Our Lord is before us. Of course, this is repeated when the “precious” blood is lifted too.
We may not want to admit it but there are times when we have varying degrees of faith depending on what’s going on in our lives. So, I guess you can say that there are times in our life when we doubt our Faith and find it hard to believe. I suppose that is why we use the term “Doubting Thomas”.
In my personal life there were many times when I experienced both feelings. I recall times when I doubted my faith and my God, but He responded with His grace and gave me a Blessing. This reminds me of the Gospel story when Jesus challenged Peter to step off the boat and walk on the water towards Him. As long as Peter kept his eyes on Jesus, he was able to do the impossible. But when he took his eyes off Jesus then he began to question his faith and started to doubt. So, he sank in the deep, cold water.
Here’s a story about a man, a woman, and an infant that lost their home and lived in a motel until every penny was spent. It came down to their final night and the next day at 11:00am (check out time) they will be living on the streets. Of course, they were awake all night wondering what they could do. The wife was in full panic mode and who could blame her. The husband finally said “let’s put our trust in God hands and pray” and so they did all night. That next morning, the husband got up and Googled “Homeless facilities” and the first place he called was Mary’s Haven (the women’s facility for children). It was a day when people could not be accepted but that Director took in the wife and child anyway. That Director also called the director at the men’s facility, and he was accepted as well. This is an example of the presence of God and of doubt that immediately became Belief.
When we doubt, we are leaning towards the temptation of the evil one. We are saying, “Unless I see (fill in the blank) ….I will not believe”. How do we respond to our doubt and disbelief? If we follow through the scene with Thomas, we might learn much about our faith and ourselves. We see that Thomas lacked faith in his brothers and sisters. His independent mindedness refused to accept their word, wanting to reach his own conclusions for himself. If I am to be a Christian, I am called to belong to others – to grow in trust of them if I am to grow in faith in God.
Thomas the Apostle, in many ways, represents each and every one of us in this exchange with Jesus. We’d like to believe that we always believe and are not unbelieving. But how true is that? It’s important to admit the humble truth that we may not believe as deeply as we should. And it’s important to reflect upon our own reaction to the blessings that others receive that we do not.
We need to keep our eyes focused on Jesus so the impossible can happen.
Action of the Day: Analyze what you would consider the impossible in your life. Then consider why you disbelieve in achieving this goal. Finally, ask God how you can achieve this goal.