April 23, 2017 – Second Sunday of Easter
“Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” (John 20:19-31)
This really defines our faith, doesn’t it? Our logical, scientifically-minded brains must accept the fact that God is with us, despite the fact that we cannot see Him. Our faith relies upon the experience of God in our lives, not our ability to see Him and touch Him.
I can experience the beauty of nature, the love of a spouse or a child, and the peace gained through prayer and know that God exists.
In 2013, Carol and I went to Costa Rica for our 30th wedding anniversary. The indescribable beauty we saw in nature begged the question, “How could anyone not believe there is a God?” Try to explain away the existence of God using any kind of scientific theories you want; I won’t buy it. I hiked through a rain forest and saw a flower specifically shaped in such a way that only the bill of a hummingbird could extract its nectar. I watched thousands of ants, each carrying a leaf on its back, march down the trunk of a tree, across a path, and down into a hole in the ground. I saw a sunset that included dozens of different colors illumine the waters of the Pacific Ocean. We didn’t see God face-to-face. We didn’t put our fingers into the nail marks in Jesus’ hands. But we experienced God…and it was real.
I experience God when I feel the love of family – the embrace of my wife, an “I love you” from one of my kids, or the smile of one of my grandchildren.
When prayer calms me and brings me peace, God is there.
Thomas gets a bum rap as “the doubter.” It is likely that any one of the Apostles would have responded the same way had he not been present when the risen Christ presented Himself.
We doubt too. We doubt each time we don’t turn to God in our need. We doubt Him each time we choose not to pray or opt to skip Mass. We doubt when see the beauty or feel the love around us and don’t acknowledge it as the presence of God in our lives.
Ask God for the courage to not see Him face-to-face and yet still believe. Your faith depends on it.