The story of Doubting Thomas



It is normal for us as humans to have questions, concerns and doubts about our belief system. Christ, though God, is totally human and surely understands us. Faith is believing that which we don’t tangibly know or understand.

Today’s Gospel invites us to bask in the glory of Jesus’ resurrection through the eye witness account of His Apostles and specifically St. Thomas.  More popularly known as the “Story of Doubting Thomas,” this golden morsel of the Gospel reveals God’s radical love and overwhelming desire for our faith.  Even though the apostles had encountered the resurrected Christ merely a week earlier, they find themselves still hiding behind closed doors, afraid of the possible persecutions that lurked on the other side.  More personally, the apostle Thomas confessed his unbelief and had locked his faith deep into the confines of his broken heart.  Their fear, their heartache, their unbelief does not keep Jesus away.  “Jesus came, although the doors were locked.”

 Saint Thomas was a pessimist. Some people rejoice to see a glass half-full, but Thomas saw it half-empty. He was full of courage; but he also possessed a streak of fatalism. On Good Friday, he had lost all hope as they hung his master on a cross on the Roman killing fields of Golgotha. Then again, Thomas … “Doubting Thomas”, as he is sometimes called…was the first disciple to put into words the truth that Jesus was both God and man. We Christians know that Jesus was Divine; human, of course, but not only that: He was unique, the one human being in whom God was incarnate.

St. Thomas had missed seeing Christ when the other apostles saw Him after the Resurrection and we know that he had doubts. The reaction of Christ gives us hope. Christ reached out to Thomas before He spoke a word to him personally and said, “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.”

Let us, too, recall that beautiful incident when we have doubts about our faith. Christ is always with us to draw us closer to Him, even in an intimate manner. Rather than turning away from Him at the time of doubts, let us come closer to Him. It is utterly astounding the depth of love that our God has for us.  So many times have I been just like St. Thomas – confused, proud, hurt, disbelieving – and our God, in his infinite goodness, has broken through to let me know that I am his son.  This is grace.  We can be consistently hardened and he is constantly faithful to us.  It doesn’t matter what kind of locked doors we have bolted shut; Jesus in his glory stands before us saying, “do not be unbelieving, but believe.”  

We must never lose hope! Forgiveness of our sins is found trough identification with Jesus’ self-sacrifice. We need to think of Christianity as more inclusive than any single doctrine. There have been many movements in human history, initiated by those simple but wonderful events in Palestine, centering around the person of Jesus. The older  we become the more we grow in wonder at the enormous and diverse  effects in human history that can be traced  to the teachings, the deeds, the death, and the resurrection of the one, single man…Jesus Christ.

Cast away all disquieting doubts, and learn to triumph over old weaknesses as St. Thomas did, who “by his ignorance hath instructed the ignorant, and by his incredulity hath served for the faith of all ages.”

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2 Responses

  1. Reblogged this on ugandayouthministryassociation and commented:

    When we reflect on this story, there are probably times in our own lives when we’ve behaved much like Thomas. We’ve probably said, “I won’t believe that unless I hear it directly from the lips of Jesus Himself.” However, unlike Thomas, we probably don’t believe even then. The lesson we learn from Thomas is that skepticism is no sin, but being hardened in our skepticism that can lead to rejection of Jesus.

    So if you find yourself saying “Show me,” as Thomas did, be prepared to say and proclaim to the world, “I have seen my Lord and my God!”

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