On Sunday we had the gospel passage that included the meeting between Jesus and Thomas. A week earlier there had been another visit by Jesus to the locked room of apostolic gathering. Thomas was missing. When told Jesus had been there he refused to believe and laid down strict criteria for any future acceptance of their claim. Holes in flesh, tracks of nails, evidence of wounds would have to be presented and reviewed. A week later this all happened. Thomas, moved by reality found his faith – “My lord and my God” became his and remains our act of faith.
For this Thomas earned the nickname “Doubting Thomas”. I think it’s not an altogether fair title. It could be said that Thomas asked the question many of us might have wanted to ask. He wanted to believe but his heart was broken and his vision clouded. He wanted it all to be true. How similar we all are. At low points we need Jesus and call out to him. Our calling might be frustrated, our need intense and our wish for some indication understandable. Thomas spoke for us. He found his faith for us. He gave us a map – a starting point and a destination.
Thomas had asked another question earlier in the Gospel when Jesus said he was going away and that the apostles would follow. Jesus told them that they knew the way to follow him. Silence! Silence broken by Thomas; “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, how can we know the way?” Again he asked the question that needed to be asked. He got his answer and it is at the heart of all we are about.
“I am the way, the truth and the life”
For this we owe a debt of gratitude to Thomas. He is more than a moment of doubt.
Labelling is dangerous. It should be avoided at all costs!!