Many legends surround the later life of “doubting Thomas” that have been kept for us in the apocryphal “Acts of Thomas”. Still, the there is a group of Christians (the Malabar rite) that traces itself back to Thomas.
The famous scene in today’s Gospel reading (John 20:24-29) sums up John’s Gospel. Thomas sees the Risen Lord and affirms, “My Lord and my God” – the words of an ancient creed. The Lord then says to him and to all Christians that those who have not seen the Risen Lord but have believed in the sacramental presence of Christ are blessed (see John 20:29).
This incident of the doubts of Thomas carries two messages for us. First, his doubts were inherited by the isolation from the community. When he returned to the apostolic community he again found his faith. Often, when we have doubts about our faith, we tend to isolate ourselves instead of seeking to share them with another to resolve them. The second points is that seeing is not identical with faith. Many people saw Jesus during His life but did not believe. Many saw miracles, such as that of the loaves, and failed to understand them. Faith is the judgment and assurance that the Risen Lord is with us in different forms – through sign, gesture, word and Spirit.
Doubt can lead to deeper faith and through that faith to contact with the Risen Lord.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, let our celebration of the feast of Saint Thomas the apostle be the source of his unfailing help and protection. Fill us with Your life-giving grace though faith in Your Son, Jesus, whom Thomas acknowledged to be his Lord and God. We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Jakarta, 3 July 2019
A Christian Pilgrim