Written on: April 7, 2021
I have a soft spot in my heart for Thomas in the gospel. His name means “twin.” As a twin myself, I have some empathy for him, as even twins have different ways of being present to life. Sometimes I even act or believe in two or more different ways within myself.
So much has been going on for him during the past 10 days. Thomas journeyed with Jesus for three years, participating in the ministry of building the kingdom. He was present as his mentor, friend and savior was denied, betrayed, scourged and crucified. He saw his friends and companions scatter and hide out of fear that their fate would be the same as Jesus’. When Thomas finally joined the others, he heard that Jesus had appeared to them. He just would not believe without feeling the pierced hands, feet and side of his murdered friend.
Where was he?
Was the roller coaster of emotions so traumatizing that he just could not be with anyone after what he had witnessed? He needed time to deal with the horror that had happened and to consider “what was next” for us His followers. Had the dream of the kingdom died with Jesus?
Jesus appeared a week later and Thomas was with the disciples, “Peace be with you!” Then to Thomas directly,
Thomas responded, “My Lord and my God!”
Some of us believe readily, others of us need proof. Jesus understands both realities as he was human like us and knows people process things differently. Jesus blesses those who have “not seen and have believed.” In this scripture today, we see Jesus also blesses those have believed slowly. Intuitive persons tend to embrace things more readily and sensate people need “proof”, to see, taste and feel.
Thomas was a believer but was for a time beside himself. This should bring comfort to those of us who are slow to believe and to embrace this Jesus-God of mercy and forgiveness. The Spirit enlivens us whether we are quick or slow to believe.
Second Sunday of Easter-Sunday of Divine Mercy (click to print)