- A Believer like Thomas
John 20, 19-31: Jesus said to Thomas: "Be unbelieving
no longer, but believe
.Because on seeing me you have found
faith. Happy are they who find faith without seeing me!"
"An unbeliever like Thomas!" It has become a proverb.
Would not it be better to say: "A believer like Thomas"?
Thomas looks so real, with a faith of ups and downs, a faith
with eclipses and sparkles, a faith strong enough to put his
confidence into an unknown traveler but not good enough to accept
the information given to him.
When Jesus said to Thomas: " Because on seeing me,
you believe," he was announcing a truth that goes beyond
the present circumstances.
Certainly first this can be a direct answer to the remark Thomas
made to the Apostles who had "seen" the Resuscitated
but not him: "If I don't see the marks of the nails in his
hands, I will not believe" When Thomas saw Jesus amongst
his disciples in the cenacle, he had a reaction that reveals
how he has already understood the Messiah; "My Lord and
- This expression of faith goes beyond the recognition that
the Living detected after Easter is the very same person he met
every day for three years of common apostolic activity. For Thomas
this person suddenly takes his entire dimension. To reach that
point, one needs more than to see the scars on the body of the
We may wonder what kind of reality Thomas and the Apostles did
detect? Shall we give some materiality to the stories of the
apparitions of Jesus? Some people would rather follow the sober
explanation given by Saint Leon the Great, who said in short:
"we see Jesus as we carry him in our heart"; Jesus
reveals himself on the outside as we visualize him to our self.
"Because on seeing me, you believed" What is
important for Thomas is a belief based on what he saw of Jesus
during the long period when they were together. What did he discover
of him? A man of a warm welcome, able to lift some one up with
a few words; a prophet who announced a Kingdom of happiness in
which you enter through the disconcerting ways listed in the
Beatitudes and by keeping the essential commandment:
"You will love the Lord your God with all your heart
and your neighbor as yourself"; a free man in regard to
the Sabbath and all human regulations, what ever they are, it
is more important to save a life than to let it die in observing
- More we agree with these fundamental truths, greater is
our faith in the One who announced them and more important totally
lived them. Because of that, we believe that life has a meaning;
it leads us towards Some One who opens to us a new heaven and
a new earth.
To understand all that, it is not enough to walk daily with
the Master. An interior light is needed that changes our perspectives
and renews our heart.
- Thomas among the Apostles experienced the same thing than
Peter when he expressed his faith to Jesus (Mathew 16, 17): Jesus
answered: "You did not learn that from any human being;
it was revealed to you by my heavenly Father"
The same gift is offered to all who search for God, for all times.
None can regret of not having seen with his proper eyes, even
a glimpse, the Master before or after his passage from this life
to the other.
The last word is in Saint John: "Happy are those who
believe without having seen"
without having seen
the face of the Son of man with your own eyes but having gradually
discovered, with the light of the Holy Spirit, some aspects of
Christ, himself showing the Father.
Paul himself who also once "saw" the Lord, on the
Damask road, and who willingly told about this wonderful grace,
heavily insisted on the other daily context; "We go our
way in faith and not with a clear view" (2 Co 5,7).