‘Do not Doubt, but Believe’
A Modern Day doubting Thomas
In this week’s New Sunday Gospel, John 20:26-31, Jesus appears to his disciples. Thomas refused to believe that Jesus had risen unless he saw and touched the wounds inflicted upon Our Lord. Jesus says to Thomas;
‘Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe’
Last year a group of Maronite Youth went to World Youth Day and Tomas who is not Maronite joined them on their pilgrimage to World Youth Day, Europe and the Holy Land. This is his testimony:
“There are several instances where I have doubted my faith and not because the information wasn’t available but where my faith was lacking.
I have a loving caring family that are always supportive of me and want the best for me, my parents and siblings are both my foundation and pillars.
But then why did I struggle when I had all the love and direction one could ask for you may wonder? Simply because I was empty inside and nestled myself in a cocoon of self doubt which made me doubt God. I couldn’t see, I was spiritually and mentally blocked. Hungry for what it meant to be a Christian.
My depression started when I was in school, in a college where there were courses like commercial cookery, drama, music, which were all three things that I have a very special endearment for, but never had I loved those things less than that time in my life. This propelled me into a darkness and mental wrestling match I had no training for. Honestly several years passed until I regained my self worth. I have to constantly reinforce positive affirmations.
I met the Maronites when they came to the retreat centre, Benedict the 16th where I live. It was at this time that I was keen on going to WYD and I thought this an opportunity of a life time. I was looking to deepen my faith. I was looking for assurance.
Having seen where Christ came from and what it could have been like back in those times had really shook me up in a way that I’d never experienced my faith before.
As for the Maronites, I never felt a stronger connection of inclusion, understanding and congruity as I felt with these beautiful people
This trip definitely gave me insight as to how special my faith can be especially when you know where it came from. To be around like minded people that were all there to better themselves and to get in touch with Christ helped me to really face my demons with courage and humility. As together we are strong we are blessed and with Christ we are un-stoppable. “
Today we are at a slight disadvantage. We don’t know what Jesus looked like, we didn’t have an opportunity to see or touch his wounds. But the point of this Gospel is to believe, always believe. Even if we have not seen Jesus in his human form. We have His word, we have Him in the form of bread and wine, Jesus asked Thomas “Have you believed because you have seen me?”
The Gospel reminds us that this passage is there for us to believe that Jesus is the Messiah and that when we do believe, we have life in His name.
So how do we believe today? Well, gathering from the testimony above, we need to make effort. Tomas decided that he needed an upheaval. He needed to take action, and bring himself out of the rut. He sought, and he found, with the support of those strong in faith. We need action. We need to seek and take those steps ourselves. If we don’t, we will remain a doubting Thomas.
Let us never turn our faces away from those who falter, but lift them on our shoulders and gently encourage them to seek and to believe that Our Lord has indeed risen and remains with us today.
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