April 24, 2017
This past weekend we celebrated the Second Sunday of Easter. The Gospel story was John’s account of “doubting Thomas”: The risen Jesus appeared to the disciples, but Thomas was not present at the time. The other disciples shared the news with him when he returned, but Thomas replied, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
In Fr. Jim Farrell’s homily (Fr. Jim is pastor of St. Pius X Parish in Indianapolis), he offered two take-aways from this gospel story.
First, we learn that Jesus meets us where we are. This is evidenced by how Jesus responded to Thomas’ doubts. The risen Jesus appeared before the disciples again. This time, Thomas was with the group. Jesus did not chastise Thomas or “call him out” in front of the others. He simply invited Thomas to come to Him. He allowed Thomas to explore the nailmarks in His hands, and put his own hand into the side of Jesus. Jesus knew what was causing Thomas to doubt. He knew Thomas’ heart, and met him where he was in his faith development.
Jesus knows our hearts. He is willing to meet us where we are as well.
Second take-away offered by Fr. Jim: We are stronger as a community. When Thomas was with and among other believers, he experienced what they experienced; he was strengthened by the beliefs of those around him. In the gospel story, for whatever reason, Thomas was not with the group. Left on his own to discern the news the group shared with him, doubt crept in.
Being part of a faith community is important. We draw strength from community, and others draw strength from us. Our faith is fed by the faith of others. Likewise, we help feed others by acting as witnesses to our own faith.