At the end of today’s passage, we get some very eye-opening (pun intended) words from our Lord. “Blessed are those who have not seen, and have believed.” It sure sounds like he’s chastising Thomas for having to see to have faith in the Lord’s resurrection. How is it even faith, then, if he had to have visual and touching proof of the Lord’s return?
How many of us have pulled a Thomas at one point or another in our lives? How many of us have doubted or had a loss of faith because of hardships or our own human weaknesses? I know that I have. I’ve certainly had times in my life where I thought maybe I wasn’t deserving of God’s love or His grace. As I went through some struggles in my youth, I had often thought I, too, needed proof of God’s love. It felt as though the circumstances I found myself in seemed proof of exactly the opposite.
At that point, I’d been skeptical of His plans and His promises to us his people, and me specifically. Our lapse or weakness of faith, however, says far more about us than it says about theLord. Our weaknesses aren't a result of His lack of love or patience for us. He is alwaysbsteadfast in his love for us, as we read in Lamentations. It’s not His job to prove to us and sometimes, even the apostles had a hard time believing.
Thomas wouldn’t believe that the Lord had really come back, even though ALL of the other apostles had seen and were telling him about it. I don’t blame him for being doubtful. As a very analytical person, I think I would have a very hard time believing the Apostles, too. While it’s easyto believe with cold hard proof, to be a Doubting Thomas ourselves, the Lord, through our Catholic faith, calls us to a higher level of trust and faith in Him.
He calls us to faith in good times and in bad. Pope Francis Tweeted on February 5, 2015 (yep, I’m citing a tweet from the Pope. How cool is the time we live in?!), “having faith does not mean having no difficulties, but having the strength to face them, knowing we are not alone.”
Let us pray for faith as strong and unwavering as Christ’s love for us. Let us pray itremains as steadfast in bad times, as in good. Let us pray for graces when we need them most, and when our faith is hurting or shaken. Most importantly, let us pray for the type of faith that shines as a testament to others who may be hurting and need a guiding light or a restoration to their faith.
Reflection: Where do you find you struggle most in your faith? What is the hardest part of our Catholic faith for you to believe in, to have faith in?
Act: Pray for strength and clarity. Pray to be an example to others who may be struggling in their own faith.