But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Today we celebrate the feast of Saint Thomas the Apostle. This is the Thomas we call “doubting” because he did not believe his fellow apostles when they told him they had seen the Risen Lord. I remember as a young boy thinking how much easier it would be to believe if I could just see the Risen Lord. However it did seem a bit rude and unusual to me that Thomas would insist on putting his fingers into the nail marks and his hand into Jesus’ side.
Today, I think the 2,000-year-old tradition of faith that has been handed down from generation to generation is perhaps even stronger than seeing with my own eyes. Just imagine the person who was most instrumental in helping you believe and the person who did the same for him or her. This line stretches all the way back to the apostles who went throughout the world spreading the Good News of God’s love. Thomas himself, traveled all the way to India.
Faith and belief is a gift from God. It is a gift that God delivers through the people in our lives. In my own case I immediately think of my parents, my siblings, my friends, and many Jesuits. This gift of faith is not a once forever event, rather it happens day after day. With Ignatian spirituality, we are gifted that we are encouraged to see God in all things. Our faith is incarnational, it is in the world. God is present in all creation.
Let’s pray for the eyes to see and the ears to hear God present in our lives.
—David McNulty is the Provincial Assistant for Advancement, Chicago-Detroit Province Jesuits
Lord, if we find ourselves at a distance with you, help us to remember that your love and your intervention in our life is ongoing. Do not let guilt separate us from you. Rather let us trust that you always approach us with peace and the assurance that you cherish us – no matter what!
—The Jesuit Prayer Team