Readings for today: Acts 2:42-47; 1 Peter 1:3-9; John 20:19-31
Jesus said to him: “You believe because you can see me. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”
The readings today present the age-long dichotomy of doubt and faith. The first and second readings present faith in beautiful ways, from the accounts of the apostles’ faith in the first reading and the love and mercy that is given to us through Jesus’ death, as long as we believe in it. But the story of a man who will forever be remembered as “Doubting Thomas” is the focus of today’s gospel, a figure that I can totally relate to.
For reasons that aren’t specified in the gospel story, Thomas was nowhere to be found when Jesus appeared to the other disciples after His resurrection. Naturally, upon hearing from the others that Jesus had risen, Thomas doubted and only would believe once he touched Jesus’ side and His hands.
Thomas was looking for something tangible, something real. How many of us are looking for that ‘real’ thing, instead of having faith in God?
I had the privilege this weekend to speak to 30 Grade 6 and 7 students about how we go about building up God’s kingdom here on earth. At that age, I was already doubting the goodness of God and my ability to actually do something to help God’s perfect plan. As I grew older, I grew distant in my faith, going through a rollercoaster of being on fire for God only to be extinguished the next day by reality.
Doubting God’s love for us is definitely the most damaging thing that we can do to ourselves and our relationship with God. Yet, we do it most of the time because we can’t see Him. Our relationships here on Earth rely on constant communication and physically seeing one another. If we can’t see God, how do we know that He exists? How do we know that He can hear us?
Our doubts are strong. But God’s love, and our faith, can be even stronger and overpower those doubts.
It’s not easy to believe in something that you can’t see. But what you can see is the goodness that exists around you through the beauty of the Earth and the people who you meet. The quote above, from the gospel of John, strikes me in this way: Thomas believed once he saw Jesus in the flesh, but how much greater it is to believe in Jesus out of love for Him?
The second reading says that the worth of our faith is more valuable than gold – how awesome is that? When we have faith in Him, we are showing our love for God that allows us to become more open and ready to sharing this love for others, which is the mission that we are destined for!
I am on fire for the participants of our retreat this weekend and I hope that they will be set ablaze and doubt no more. For those souls that are doubting and lukewarm, know that doubt is normal and doubt is okay. God will meet you where you are at and when you are ready, but you have to be willing to meet Him halfway.
On this blessed Divine Mercy Sunday, St. Faustina, pray for us!