Today’s reading is from John 20, when Jesus reveals himself to the apostles after he had died. Thomas was not with them when it happened, and therefore didn’t believe them that they had seen Jesus. I can’t say that I’m that surprised. I probably would have reacted the same way as he did.
But Thomas gets a second chance to believe the next week, when Jesus reveals himself again amongst the apostles. As soon as Thomas sees Jesus and feels his wounds, Thomas exclaims, “My Lord and my God!” I just love that. I imagine the silence of that scene. Of what he, Thomas, was feeling that moment he realized his beloved Jesus was alive again. I image him dropping to his knees, speechless for a moment. His heart, his sad, hard, mournful heart must have beat twice as hard and twice as fast in his chest, joyfully leaping at the chance to be with Jesus once more. But also realizeing all that Jesus said was true. He is the Messiah, the Saviour, the Son of Man, the Son of God, and he came back again, back to life, back from the dead! Then he finds his voice! To have hope once more, that would be an amazing feeling.
But I also imaging how Jesus must have felt in this moment. Thomas had been lost to his grief of Jesus’ death, and cynicism that Jesus had appeared to his friends. Jesus knew that Thomas had strayed from the Hope. I’d like to think that Jesus came to appear to the apostles a second time just because Thomas was there. He wanted to see Thomas, so that Thomas could have faith in him once again.
That moment when Thomas’ faith is strengthened, must have been such a wonderful moment for Jesus, who loved him so much.
Jesus’ next lines are, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” I think those lines are meant for us. We are the ones who have believed without seeing Christ personally. But then again, maybe I am someone who needs proof? It might not be in the physical person of Christ, but I think my faith wavers enough that God has to put a pretty clear sign in my path saying, “Here I am. Put all of your hope in me.”
Saint Thomas, please pray for us. Please pray for our doubts and our fears that there might not be more to life than this. Please pray that we can see God in a meaningful way today. In a way that can restore our faith if we have lost it.