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Doubting Thomas or Believing Thomas?

by Jul 3, 2024Friar Reflection

Today is the feast of the apostle Thomas, popularly known as doubting Thomas.  Why?  Because as we hear in today’s Gospel Thomas declared: “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.”  So, Thomas doubted the report of his fellow apostles that they had seen the risen Lord.  Thomas, however, not only doubts but also believes or comes to faith.  So, when he sees the risen Lord, Thomas proclaims: “My Lord and my God.”

Thomas is also called Didymus which means twin.  We can view Thomas as our twin in our journey of faith.  Thomas’ journey moves from interest in Jesus, to faith and trust, to doubts and questioning to a full faith in Jesus as his Lord and God.  John’s Gospel lays out the faith journey of other disciples besides Thomas.  Some, like the beloved disciple, see the empty tomb and at once come to faith.  Others like Mary of Magdala and Simon Peter see the empty tomb but do not come to faith until they see the risen Lord.  John includes us in this faith journey with the last line in today’s Gospel: “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

In today’s first reading Paul tells us who we are as believers, we are “fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God.”  He goes on to tell us that his household is “built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone.”  As Pope Francis has emphasized again and again while these foundations and traditions are important, we must go back each day to Jesus, the “capstone” as we continue on our faith journey:

“I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day.  No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her, since “no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord”.  The Lord does not disappoint those who take this risk; whenever we take a step towards Jesus, we come to realize that he is already there, waiting for us with open arms.” (Evangelii gaudium, #3)

Image: “Apostle Thomas Icon” by bobosh_t is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.