Today’s Gospel: John 20:19-31
Each year, I find myself identifying more and more with Thomas. The guy was terrified out of his mind, fearing for his life from the Jews who were out to kill Jesus’ disciples. As far as Thomas was concerned, Jesus, the man who he had given up his life for, was still dead. Thomas wasn’t there the previous week in the upper room when Jesus appeared to the disciples and gave them the power to forgive sins. In his mind, Jesus was dead, and the other disciples had gone mad. “Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe,” he told them.
Do you know what today is? Today is the second Sunday of the Easter octave. In other words, it’s eight days after Easter Sunday. “Eight days later, his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them” (John 20:26). Today is the day that Jesus came through the locked doors of the upper room, stood among them, said, “Peace be with you,” and told doubting Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
I am a twenty-first century doubting Thomas. Just eight days after Easter Sunday, as I’m going about my life, I’m tempted to forget everything that Christ endured for me. I have yet to embrace what the resurrection means for my life. Christ took on the weight of the world’s sins, allowed himself to die a humiliating death, conquered death in the resurrection, and did it all so that a sinner like me can have life to the full.
When I read today’s Gospel, I picture myself in Thomas’ shoes. I imagine Christ coming directly over to me in the upper room, inviting me to touch and put my fingers into his wounds—wounds that he endured for me. “Here, Catherine, put your hand into my side. Now do you believe that I love you? Do you believe that you are worth this?”
I am slowly going about putting crucifixes in every room of our home to quash the doubt. I force myself to hear the words, “I did this for you.” I take it all in—his hands and feet pierced with nails, his head with a crown of thorns, his pierced side, his nearly nude body. We must “preach Christ crucified” (1 Corinthians 1:23) because it was through Christ’s death on the cross that we gained eternal life.
When was the last time I gazed upon a crucifix in silence? Do I believe that Christ endured all of that for me?
Jesus, during this Easter Season, please help me to stop doubting your love for me as your unique, unrepeatable child. Show me how to imitate you, offering my own life, selflessly and completely, for the rest of your Body. Thank you for your perfect patience, love, and forgiveness. Amen.
We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.
Copyright 2015 Catherine Boucher