Living By Faith

This month, we are continuing to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord. This time of year always reminds me of the Apostle Thomas. You probably remember that Thomas would not believe the other Apostles had seen Jesus until he could touch him and his wounds with his own hands.

You probably have heard the popular sayings “seeing is believing” and “to see is to be able to verify.” But did you know that the word verify comes from the Latin word “veritas,” which means “truth?” To see is to be able to verify the truth.

And that is what Thomas was looking to do. He wanted to personally verify that his friends had really seen the Risen Lord. We probably shouldn’t be so hard on Thomas— after all, we all have a need to verify what others tell us to know the truth for ourselves. If we did not question what others tell us, and if we are not continually questioning and reaffirming our own faith, then how do we know what we really believe?

Interestingly enough, the name Thomas means “twin.” I have often wondered who Thomas’s twin was in the Gospel. But perhaps all of us are Thomas’s twin when we doubt or question all that God has and continues to do for each of us. How many times have we asked ourselves the question “where is God?” when we are afflicted by illness, tragedy, or personal suffering? It is both natural and human to ask questions like “Does God see us?” or “Does God hear my prayer?” or “Does God really care after all?”

That’s where the wisdom of our Catholic tradition comes in. We know where God is in moments of suffering, personal trials, and loss, and we are to turn to the cross and see the Lord who hangs from it out of love for us.

We should be encouraged and reassured that Jesus is with us in the very midst of our doubt.

That familiar poem “Footprints in the Sand” reminds us that even in the darkest moments of life, when we question where God is, we can focus on the one set of footprints in the sand—the footprints of Jesus who carries us in His arms.

The Good News of the Resurrection that we celebrate during the Easter season is that Jesus is Lord, risen from the dead. There is no doubt that Jesus has come to offer us His Easter peace as he offered it to Thomas and the disciples. Jesus has come to share his presence with us, especially in our moments of darkness, sickness, and despair.

As we celebrate this Eucharist, we should be mindful of “doubting Thomas,” who perhaps is our twin. And more importantly, throughout this month of May, we celebrate the Good News of Easter, which assures us that Christ is risen, and his peace, his presence, and his power conquers all of our fears, all of our doubts, and even death itself.

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