Proof, attestation, confirmation, pruweba… These are the words of someone who wants to establish authority that what he believes is true. Thomas in our gospel today is searching for such proof, “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”. After the insignificant event that happened to Jesus on the cross, Thomas’ faith has been shattered by confusion and pain. He was looking, for proof to bring back his conviction in following Jesus.
Thomas was known as a doubter of Jesus’ resurrection. But for me, I think his doubt is not because of loss of faith but rather moved by strong desire to know and take hold of the truth about Jesus’ resurrection so that he may regain his conviction of offering his life for Jesus. He wants more assurance than enthusiastic words; assurance that will change every aspect of his life; assurance that will change his own convictions.
The dramatic encounter of the Risen Lord change the doubtful state, and with great conviction utters his new found faith in the memorable words “my Lord and my God”. Thomas was seemingly a late believer of Jesus’ resurrection yet never too late to boldly pronounce the most profound and radical confession of faith.
Tradition holds that Thomas preached the gospel in India and eventually suffered martyrdom. That’s how conviction works, conviction that is founded on a close and personal encounter with Jesus. I think this also holds true to us who are called to respond this calling, to encounter the Risen Lord in a very special and intimate way that will eventually change our perspectives, convictions, priorities, our sense of mission, fulfillment and joy.
Lastly, allow me to shift our gaze on Jesus. When he appeared to Thomas, he did not condemn him rather he accepted the kind or level of faith that Thomas had. Indeed, Jesus meets us where we are. He did not impose rather he purifies our convictions. Let us therefore turn to this God, who has a heart that patiently respects our own pace towards maturity and who knows how to understand our human frailties. As we continue to respond to this kind of life, to which we are called, let us focus our gaze on the Risen Christ and unite our convictions with Him that we may always grow in faith hopeful to hear him saying “blessed are those who have not seen and have believed”.