Whenever we are trying to prove our point, we need evidence—concrete proof of our claim. If we are in a car accident, eyewitnesses and photographs help support our claim to fussy insurance companies. We often even ask for proof from those who love us, especially if we are in the throes of a disagreement with them. Our society is caught up in having tangible proof for just about everything. Without proof, we don’t listen and start asking a litany of questions.
In today’s Gospel reading (John 20: 19-31), we hear about the infamous doubting Thomas. At the start of the reading, Jesus enters the room through locked doors and appears to the disciples. Thomas, however, was not present. When Thomas heard about this appearance of Jesus from the other disciples, Thomas did not believe them despite being good friends with the other disciples. He needed that tangible proof all of us need at times in our lives.
Have you ever doubted the word of a close friend or family member when they told you something which happened in your absence? It is especially difficult when what we are hearing challenges our beliefs, confronts our egos, or asks us to stretch our understanding of reality. Sometimes we may question or even lash out at those who are dear to us. When this happens, Jesus always seems to come and serve us a healthy slice of humble pie. We realize we are wrong and need to apologize.
Upon Jesus’ return, Thomas was present and was invited by Jesus to place his fingers and hands into his wounds as solid proof that it was HIM. Thomas reacted with a beautiful acknowledgment of Jesus present in the moment: “My Lord and my God!” Whenever we doubt those close to us, let us ask Jesus to help us have faith in those who love us. Let us ask Jesus to help us to believe what is unseen and not ask for proof. Sometimes those close to us see and know things about us that we fail to recognize or, deep down, don’t want to acknowledge. Today’s Gospel reading helps us to open the eyes of our hearts to the presence of Jesus in our midst. The example of Thomas helps us to revel in all the gifts Jesus brings to us through those who love us. St Thomas, apostle of Jesus, pray for us. Help us to put our egos aside and believe without seeing.