Doubting Thomas

Catherine was mad at God. She had to admit it. Her husband just found out that his cancer had come back—-for the third time. He would have to begin treatments the following Monday. Catherine had been praying for a good report from the doctor. Instead, she heard this.

Catherine was a good person—-very devoted to her husband and family. And now that her children were all grown and out of the house, she had thought that she and Joe could enjoy retirement together, but Joe’s illness had made these past few years really challenging.

But the thing that was really bothering her right now was the way she felt toward God. Yet, she couldn’t help herself. She had always been a devout Catholic who was taught from her earliest childhood to love and respect her God and her faith. She instilled this in her children as well.

So, at the Lenten Penance Service in her parish she her anger toward God was one of her sins. When she had finished, the priest said to her that getting angry with God wasn’t really a sin—-that God understands there are times when we can get frustrated and need some extra help to cope with a situation or try to understand what’s going on in our life. Actually, questioning God can eventually lead to a stronger faith when all is said and done. But we have to hang in there and not give in to despair.

Today we hear of Thomas. Doubting Thomas. When he heard of Jesus’ crucifixion he was angry that Jesus “had failed”. And he was brooding over it, nursing his anger and disappointment in sorrow and in solitude. This was where his mind was when he first heard the news that Jesus had risen from the dead. So, he wouldn’t accept it. He says, “Unless I see the marks 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.”

But a week later, while Thomas is hiding out with the other Apostles, Jesus comes through the locked doors and says: “Peace be with you.” Then he goes right over to Thomas and says: “Here, touch my wounds, believe in me.”

Jesus wasn’t offended by Thomas’s doubts and anger. He was just eager for Thomas to get his faith back. Christ is very patient with him, and humbles himself by letting Thomas touch him. And Thomas’s faith is restored.

There are times when we resist God’s action in our lives, get mad at him, rebel against him. And it is precisely at these moments that Jesus wants to show us his patience and mercy.

Think of it this way: Jesus shows us his wounds so that we will not be afraid to show him ours. So, let the Lord win back your faith for you. Let our prayer be: “My Lord and my God.”

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