Gospel of John 20 :24-29
Now Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 The other disciples therefore said to him: We have seen the Lord. But he said to them: Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.
26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said: Peace be to you.
27 Then he saith to Thomas: Put in thy finger hither, and see My hands; and bring hither thy hand, and put it into My side; and be not faithless, but believing.
28 Thomas answered, and said to Him: My Lord, and my God.
29 Jesus saith to him: Because thou hast seen Me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed.
It was a difficult time for the Apostles, Jesus had been crucified, His body had been laid in a tomb that belonged to another man, and now His body was missing. The apostles were afraid. They were gathered together in the upper room huddled together…praying. They did not know what was going to happen to them. Mary Magdalene had told them that Jesus was alive…but they did not believe her because they had not seen it with their own eyes….so they were hiding in the locked room. Thomas wasn’t with them when Jesus first appeared to them. The door had been locked, and suddenly Jesus was in their midst… their doubts…their fears… vanished…. as they realized that Jesus had risen… He had done as He had said… He was alive.
Poor Thomas, he wasn’t with them… He didn’t get to see with his own eyes the risen Lord. His fears were still gnawing at him. And even though the others told him what had happened, he needed proof. He needed tangible evidence to calm his fears…to settle his doubts… just like most of us...he wanted to see Christ with his own eyes… touch Christ with his own hands…It wasn’t just that he questioned the fact that Jesus had risen from the dead… he probably approached everything in his life with this same sort of doubt. Don’t we, do the same thing?
We hear someone say something, and we listen… and if it is something unbelievable we toss it around in our heads…we try to rationalize it, but if it is something really ‘fantastic’ we need proof… we need tangible evidence. We need to see it with our own eyes as well. We need to touch it with our own hands. Like Thomas, we are all doubters as well. Particularly when it comes to our Faith.
Oh, we may profess the Creed week after week… mouthing the words…. like faithful sheep, but do we really believe? Our lack of reverence in front of the Blessed Sacrament…says not…
It’s true. Most people will say they believe that the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ. Most of us even touch it with our own hands…our own mouths…but do we really believe? Do we act like we are in the presence of the Lord when we walk near the tabernacle that houses His Most Precious Body…His Most Precious Blood…do we genuflect or show some sign of reverence? Not just a quick little nod of our head either… that is informal…that is how we treat each other. Our Lord He deserves More. He deserves to be treated…like a …. King.
I know people who love England’s Royal family and if they ever see these ‘royalty’, well its all, wobbly knees and giddy excitement. They feel like they need to show some sort of reverence towards these people…these men and women who are in all respects Just like us…
But then, when these same people walk into any Catholic Church that has a tabernacle which actually houses Our Dear Lord…they carry on as if its nothing…they carry on as if they do not believe that the King of Kings…the Lord of Life is in their midst…. As a whole, we tend to show our doubt more than our respect when it comes to Our Dear Lord. We are much worse than Thomas in this regard…For we have actually seen Jesus…we have actually consumed Our Dear Lord’s Body and still, we carry on as if we don’t believe. And Thomas, oh, he’s the doubting one...ehh?
I know people will get upset with this, but it is not reverent to carry on inside a Catholic Church as if it is just a common meeting hall, instead of acting as if you are in the House of the Lord. It’s rude to enter into the house of someone and not talk to the host. You wouldn’t even dream of going to someone’s house and ignoring them. But that is what happens in Catholic Churches all over the world…especially on Sunday mornings. Most people who go to daily Mass, have a bit more sense that to sit and chat with their neighbors, all the while ignoring the Lord. But unfortunately, so many people who fill the Churches on Sunday don’t believe…they fail to understand this greatness of this Treasure…
Many attend Mass out of routine and obligation, but they don’t really grasp the Divine Nature of the Faith… They look with eyes…but they cannot see. They fail to realize that they have in front of them the very Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Blessed Lord… and they carry on as if they don’t believe. Unfortunately we have become a people of doubt. We have become a people without a firm grasp of our Faith. We put more trust into what the world tells us to believe. Even when the world is telling us nothing but lies. We have become a nation who doubts the Truth…the very Truth revealed to us by God... We have become a group far more dangerous than any ‘doubting Thomas.’ For Thomas, even though he had his fears, and his doubts…When Jesus was in front of him, he was able to recognize Christ for what He truly was….and he was able to say without a doubt…”My Lord… and my God…”