DO NOT BE UNBELIEVING BUT BELIEVE
The figure of Thomas as the disciple who resists believing has been very popular among Christians. However the Gospel story says much more about this skeptical disciple. The Risen Jesus directs himself to him with some words that have much to do with an urgent call, but also with a loving invitation: «Do not be unbelieving anymore but believe». Thomas, who spent a week resisting believing, responds to Jesus with the most solemn confession of faith that we could read in the Gospels: «My Lord and my God».
What has this disciple experienced in the Risen Jesus? What is it that has transformed this man, up to this point doubting and hesitant? What went on inside him that has brought him from skepticism to trust? What’s surprising is that, according to the story, Thomas rejects touching Jesus’ wounds in order to verify the truth of the resurrection. What opens him to faith is Jesus himself with his invitation.
Throughout these years all of us have changed much from within. We have become more skeptical, but also more fragile. We have become more critical, but also more insecure. Each one of us has decided how we want to live and how we want to die. Each one of us has responded to that call which sooner or later, whether unexpected or whether a fruit of an inner process, comes to us from Jesus: «Do not be unbelieving, but believe».
Maybe we need to awaken more our desire for truth. Develop that inner sensibility that we all have, in order to perceive, beyond the visible and tangible, the presence of the Mystery that sustains our lives. It’s no longer possible to live as people who know everything. That’s not how it is. All of us, believers and nonbelievers, atheists and agnostics, we walk through live wrapped in shadow. As Paul of Tarsus says: we seek God «like blind people».
Why don’t we face the mystery of life and death, trusting in Love as the ultimate Reality of everything? This is Jesus’ decisive invitation. More than one believer today feels that faith has become something more and more unreal and less fundamental. I don’t know. Maybe now that we can no longer support our faith in false securities, we are learning to seek God with a more humble and sincere heart.
We mustn’t forget that any person who sincerely seeks and desires to believe, as far as God is concerned, that person is already a believer. Often it’s not possible to do much more than that. And God, who understands our powerlessness and weakness, has paths to meet each one and offer that one salvation.
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf