"Unless I see the mark 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." I shudder at the audacity of St. Thomas the Apostle in giving God an ultimatum for belief in the resurrection. Unless God does exactly what he says, he will not believe. Is this in any way reasonable? Do we dare to force God’s mighty hand like this?
I must step back and admit my compassion for Thomas, burdened with representing the skeptic in all of us. Thomas expresses the difficulty we all seem to have with accepting the testimony of others about any given miraculous event. Why should Thomas be known as “Doubting Thomas” when we all have doubts from time to time?
And yet, Thomas did say what he said, and Jesus called his bluff. We see Thomas’ heart revealed by Jesus’ appearance. Thomas did want to believe. Upon Jesus’ arrival, he is moved to worship and not to shame: “Thomas answered and said to him, ‘My Lord and my God.’”
So, what do we do with our doubts? Do we draw lines in the sand, expecting God to move our immovable hearts? Do we demand flashy miracles when what we really need is the witness of the Scriptures and the people of faith who have gone before us?
I suggest a less dramatic approach than Thomas: read the scriptures with an open mind and heart. Let the Word resonate with your own experience of God and the experiences of others whom you trust. We have more than enough evidence for God already at our fingertips if only we are willing to open our eyes and recognize it!
Put your finger on the living pulse of the Body of Christ, the Church, active in a thousand different ways in service of the poor and downtrodden. Put your hand into the wounded side of Christ as His Sacred Heart pours out His Divine Mercy in the Sacraments. Drink deeply from the font of His love in the celebration of the Holy Mass as He says to you through His priest: “This is the chalice of my Blood…poured out for you.” Ponder these mysteries in His Eucharistic Presence “And do not be unbelieving, but believe.”