Donít be a doubting Thomas!
How many times did I hear that said when I was child?
Donít be a doubting Thomas.
Poor Thomas, no matter what he did or said after that first Easter, he has always been remembered for his initial refusal to believe.
Doubt is such a negative, such a destructive force! Or is it?
Did you know that according to the Eastern and Orthodox traditions, Thomas is known as "believing" Thomas? He is remembered for his faith that followed upon the doubt for which our tradition best remembers him. Interesting, isnít it?
The Orthodox position is based upon the enlightened premise that doubt is often the catalyst for a deepening of faith.
Thomas teaches us to face and to challenge our doubts. We should be anxious to learn from him because his eventual confession of faith is unique in all the Scriptures for its explicitness. "My Lord and my God!" He exclaimed as he recognized the risen Jesus. "My Lord and my God" ...no room for various interpretations in these words.
Necessary to the resolution of his doubt was a personal encounter with the risen Christ.
Now, by "personal encounter" I do not necessarily mean a vision or some other extraordinary experience comparable to the one enjoyed by Thomas. We are the post-Ascension Church and now Jesus has other ways of encountering us. But they are no less real, no less effective.
Be patient and persistent and you will find Him with the help of The Holy Spirit who in turn will encourage you as you pray for the gift of a deepening of faith. You will find him here in your community as with this common aim we celebrate the Eucharist. You will find him in the words of a good confessor and in the priceless gift of sacramental absolution. In other words, you will find him where he said you would.