Thomas – Doubter or Expert Witness?

Fr. Liam Swords, one of our Diocesan priests, muses on “Inquiries” and feels certain that in today’s world there would have been an INQUIRY/TRIBUNAL into the death and resurrection of Jesus.  Witnesses under cross-examination, he believes, might not hold up too well …. Well one would!  We’ll let Liam tell the story 

The case for the prosecution is by now almost wrapped up as Thomas, the final witness, is sworn in. Quietly, he recounts how he had stubbornly refused to believe any of the reports that Jesus was risen. The judge begins to listen with renewed interests in a now hushed courtroom. At last, a cool level-headed witness. Thomas held out against the mounting   pressure of his associates who believed, as he saw it, what they wanted to believe. He could accept only tangible proof, nothing less than touching the wounds of the risen Jesus. There is a gasp in the court-room when he informs them that, a week later, he did just that. In the end, it all came down to Thomas”    evidence.  As a result the enquiry was forced to bring in an inconclusive verdict. 

For two thousand years, Thomas has got a bad press. In fact, the derogatory expression “doubting Thomas” is now common currency in most languages. Thomas is long overdue a reappraisal. That his demand for proof was not inordinate is twice underlined in     today’s gospel. Firstly, Christ himself submitted to the conditions laid down by Thomas and secondly, the event was recorded – when so many others were not – “so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.” We who believe today are indebted in no small part to the tenacity of Thomas.

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