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.
I often behave like Thomas when I’m grieving. No consoling words from trusted friends can snap me out of my rut. I can relate to Thomas’ over-the-top insistence that he “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” before coming to belief. Like Thomas, I require divine intervention to pull me back to hope.
Luckily, today’s Gospel reading reminds us that Jesus is always ready to meet us in our grief. Jesus may not fulfill our exact demands in the way he does Thomas’, but he is waiting to bring us the peace for which we long. May we have the eyes of faith to see him!
Has there been a time when Jesus invited you out of grief and into peace in unexpected ways?
—Jake Braithwaite, SJ, is a Jesuit scholastic of the Northeast Province studying philosophy at Loyola University Chicago.
Lord, grant that I may see thee more clearly,
love thee more dearly,
follow thee more nearly.
—Spiritual Exercises #104, St. Ignatius of Loyola