“Seeing is believing,” according to an old adage.
Yet another cautions: Believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see.
Perhaps this was how the apostle Thomas approached life.
This past Sunday, we heard the story of “Doubting Thomas” from the gospel of St. John (John 20: 19-31).
He probably isn’t happy about being known through the centuries as “Doubting Thomas.” Why not “Believing Thomas” or “Thomas the Believer”?
Thomas -- we almost never hear him called Didymus, which John said he was called -- is our litmus test. It’s his response to seeing Christ, in the flesh, after the Resurrection that lights the way for those of us who’ve come after.
Thomas wasn’t with the disciples when Jesus first appeared among them, despite locked doors. “We’ve seen Jesus,” they told him.
Yet he was adamant. He couldn’t believe unless he could see Jesus for himself, he said, and touch the nail marks, and the spear wound in his side.
Well, there’s another adage: Be careful what you wish for.
Another night, doors locked, and Thomas was with the disciples when who stood there with them, but Jesus himself. Jesus invites Thomas to touch his wounds, to believe He is real.
The words Thomas utters are words of life for us all: My Lord and my God!
Seeing is believing, for Thomas.
His doubts completely erased, Thomas hears Jesus utter words that reassure us, centuries after, of our place with Him, if we but believe: Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.
We’re throwing caution to the wind, ditching the adage of believing nothing of what we hear. Because we hear the Gospel proclaimed, how God sent His only begotten Son to live, die, and rise again for our salvation, and we believe. We haven’t seen Christ as the disciples did. Yet we believe.
Jesus calls us “blessed.” In case you ever had any doubts, through faith in the Risen Lord, you and I are “blessed” -- by Jesus himself.