Believing Without Seeing

John 20: 24-29
Eph 2: 19-22 / Ps 117: 1- 2

Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.
(John 20:29)

Those without faith are never sure
About the truth that they conceive;
But they have peace and feel secure
Who have not seen and yet believe.

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the marks of the nails in His hands and put my finger into the nail marks, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” Now a week later, His disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst, and said, “Peace be with you.” Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.” Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” (John 20: 24-29)

Reflection

Today the Church celebrates the feast of St. Thomas the apostle. Among the four Gospels written, the only other account about him was when he asked Jesus at the Last Supper, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” And Jesus’ famous answer was: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (Jn.14:5,6). Among the apostles, his name has become synonymous with those who doubt, or who do not believe unless they have empirical evidence. But in truth, this apostle made the greatest affirmation about the divinity of Jesus when he declared, “My Lord and my God!” (Jn.20:28) St. John included this account in his Gospel to emphasize his concluding message that “these are written that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in His Name” (Jn. 20:31).

Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” To another apostle, Nathanael, Jesus had also said, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this” (Jn.1:50). Indeed, to those of us who had not seen the wonders that Jesus performed, and yet simply believed the Word of God in the Bible, greater things have been manifested before our eyes. We have seen how the Church has grown, in spite of the persecutions of Christians through the ages. We have been witness to the conversions of hardened sinners, the healing of incurable diseases, and other miracles that have happened in countless lives. We have seen many wonders that Thomas or Nathanael and the other apostles could not even imagine man was ever capable of doing, like landing on the moon, communicating with anyone anywhere in the world, or harnessing the power of the sun, or even travelling faster than the speed of sound. Who knows what else man is capable of accomplishing in the future because he believes?

Great inventors and builders are great believers. But we do not have to be geniuses or visionaries like them to succeed in the most important quest in our life. We only need to believe the Word of our Lord Jesus Christ, and practice what we believe. Thomas believed because he saw the Lord Jesus in the flesh. We believe, although we do not see Him, that we are privileged to receive Him in the Holy Eucharist. That may well be the reason why our Lord Jesus said we are more blessed.

Lord, let there be no doubt in my heart that You live within me when I receive You in the Holy Eucharist. May it sustain my faith in You all the days of my life. Amen.

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