Believing without seeing
July 3, 2018 Tuesday, 13th Week in Ordinary TimeSt.
1st Reading: Eph 2:19–22
Gospel: Jn 20:24–29
Thomas, the Twin, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he replied, “Until I have seen in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”Eight days later, the disciples were inside again and Thomas was with them. Despite the locked doors Jesus came and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands; stretch out your hand and put it into my side. Resist no longer and be a believer.”Thomas then said, “You are my Lord and my God.” Jesus replied, “You believe because you see me, don’t you? Happy are those who have not seen and believe.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
Few people have the privilege of dictating the terms of his faith. Thomas was one of the few. In today’s Gospel he said: “Until I have seen in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.” We understand where he was coming from. His faith had just suffered a fatal blow at Calvary. Only a massive sensitization could resuscitate his ailing faith. Jesus must have understood his predicament, and so He gave in to his request. Then at last Thomas exclaimed: “My Lord and my God!” Thomas recovered his faith, but not the way Jesus wanted it. For this Jesus rebuked him saying, “Happy are those who have not seen and believe.” There are two ways people believe. Some believe because the rational probative value of evidence before them is simply irresistible. Others believe not because of evidence but because of their relationship with the one testifying. Thomas belonged to the first, and Jesus rebuked him because he wanted the faith of his followers to be rooted in their relationship with him.
As Christians we maneuver in the sea of doubt because the things we believe in about God are veiled in mystery. At the Mass, for example Jesus is truly present and we can see, touch and receive him at Holy Communion. Unfortunately we don’t see and touch him the way we want, for his presence defies our senses as he appears to us veiled in the materiality of the wafer consecrated by the priest. In the last analysis we are better off than Thomas because we have lots of opportunities to believe without seeing. Saint Augustine assures us in his Sermons: “Faith is to believe what you do not yet see; the reward for this faith is to see what you believe” –(Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., D.M.
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