Thomas’ encounter with the Risen Christ teaches us what it means to be the Church today. Like Thomas, we are disciples who have not yet seen but are called on to believe. We are called to live by faith, which comes to us through the witness of Scripture. This week that witness is telling us something special about Jesus through Thomas, one particular human being who loved Jesus and who Jesus loved.
The interplay between Jesus and Thomas makes me want to know more about this God of grace and mercy who refused to reject Thomas for questioning and struggling with the reality of faith.
Christians worship a God who inhabited humanity and carries the scars of being human, who knows what it is to be like you and me. Being human means dealing with ups and downs, with disappointments, griefs, and trauma as well as joys. We carry our wounds, but thanks be to God, we do not carry them alone. In Christ, God has come, bringing redemption and ultimate meaning to our lives. God comes that we might live God’s way of peace, forgiveness, and grace.
In her commentary on John’s Gospel, Gail R. O’Day notes:
John’s story names the disciples’ fears, and in the face of those fears, Jesus’ grace increases.… He never lectured the disciples for hiding behind closed doors even after they had received the Spirit, nor did he censure Thomas for wanting a tactile experience of the risen Lord. The stories are parables of Grace. The centrality of grace—even for ‘those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.’”
God gives us grace. Thanks be to God.
What wounds and scars do I carry? How does my pain affect my relationship with God? When have I failed to offer grace to others who are hurt?
O Lord, help me be more like Thomas, more in touch with my need for you and more accepting of your lordship and grace. Amen.