Today’s gospel was close to my heart. It starred Thomas “Didimus,” my patron saint. He personifies the human condition: doubt. This worldly life has conditioned us to believe only what we can see. Thomas was one of the 12 who lived with Jesus, learning what he taught and witnessing the miracles he worked through the power of faith. Yet after Jesus was crucified, Thomas’s faith abandoned him–or did he abandon the faith?
That’s the challenge we all face every day. We’re constantly tuned into this world’s frequency, one that caters to our bodily senses. Yet in the second reading from John we are called to conquer the world: “Every child of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world: our faith. Who can overcome the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”
It takes courage to have that kind of faith. Thomas was lucky. Jesus let him wallow in his humanity and probe the nail and spear marks. Jesus did it for THAT Thomas and all of us Thomases aspiring to be Christians in spirit and not in name only. As humans, we’re Christians in the making. Even John knew that future generations would need something on which to secure their faith, which is why he wrote at the end of today’s gospel:
“There were many other signs that Jesus worked in the sight of the disciples, but they are not recorded in this book. These are recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing this you may have life through his name.”
We are blessed that through the gospels Jesus gives us Thomases so many chances to conquer this world by tapping into the power of faith.