It takes years to build a character, but a moment to lose it…
>> It takes hundreds of efforts to build a relationship, but a moment to lose it…
>> It takes manifold of words to be known as a good speaker, but a couple of words to doom that title…
People cash on one bad remark…
… but thousands of consoling and good words are forgotten!
>> People talk bad on one negative incident…
… but forget many good deeds and honourable moments!
This is our experience. This is our real life.
Something similar was and is experienced by an Apostle too.. St Thomas.
He made one remark of doubt….
… and ever since, has been branded, “The Doubting Thomas!“
Often when some raise doubts or make queries, they are remarked, “Don’t be a Thomas!”
Am I too judgmental and Critical of People?
This is more often the Human Way.
But God’s ways are spectacular!
Humans remain judgmental, knowing just external factors!
>> God remains merciful even after being fully aware of internal factors!!
But if St Thomas doubted…
… He has also gifted the Church, with one of the Most Explicit Statements of Faith, and has given us all…a Simple yet powerful Prayer: “My Lord and My God!” (John 20:28).
When we see the Life of St Thomas, he also had his share of weaknesses, just like all the other apostles!
But let’s not exaggerate the weakness of a person…
>> Rather, let’s focus on Christ and His Mercy and Power. “Christ chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world, to shame the Strong!”(1 Cor 1:27-28)
Human weakness becomes the channel for God’s Grace and Holiness to flow…
>> Holiness is not a human effort…but is God’s grace…
>> Holiness is a gift!
A Gift is given, not earned…but once received, one must live a life worthy of that Gift!
It is God who gradually transforms the weak and lowly, into His Image and Likeness, more and more, when we co-operate with His Grace!
St Thomas…surely doubted…
… but more than the Resurrection of His Lord, he probably doubted the words of his companions.
He knew them well.
>> He knew how most of them were shallow in their faith, and how easily they would get excited at some flashy events!
And therefore.. St Thomas doubts..
>> He doubts the words of his companions… he chooses to trust none, but the Lord Himself!
And the Lord…who sees the hearts of all…is Himself eager to clarify Thomas’s doubt, perhaps more than the Apostle himself!
>> As he greets the group of Apostles, Jesus addresses Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands….do not be unbelieving, but believe!” (Jn 20:27)
What would have been going on, through the mind of Jesus, at that point?
Probably, the Lord was having a naughty smile & was only glad to oblige Thomas’s stubborn request!
>> Doubtless, He was not offended by the Thomas’ suspicion, but only wanted to get back his faith in Him!
Did Thomas touch the Lord?
The Gospels do not specifically mention about this touching…(though many of the popular pictures of the Saint do so!)..
>> But the Lord surely did touch Thomas!
Thomas was deeply touched by the Lord’s gesture!
>> Thomas was humbled by the Lord’s humility
>> Thomas was overwhelmed by the Lord’s magnanimous presence and sparkling gaze!
The Shadows of Doubts were cast away….the Glorious Light of Faith and Belief was shining bright…
… “My Lord and My God!!“
Doubt is not the opposite of Faith…
… it is an element of Faith!
I am not alone in my doubts and fears…
>> There are Apostles and Saints and Great Holy People, who have gone through this crisis.
“Lord, I do believe…help my unbelief – let this be our genuine prayer!
May we always pray, that we grow in our faith, to live & even to Die for the Faith…
… just like St Thomas, the Great Apostle of Faith proclaimed not just with his lips but also with his life & death, “My Lord and My God!”
Happy Feast of Faith and Belief, Boldness and Courage to all!
God bless! Live Jesus!