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Beyond a Doubt: Weekly Message for 07/03/2018
Dear Friends in Christ,
July 3 is a low-profile feast day in the Church’s liturgical calendar. Coming amid a time of vacations, this day in particular can be pushed to the background because it hails an apostle ill-famed for his skepticism about the Resurrection. Despite his companions’ talk of the risen Lord, Thomas insisted, “I will not believe” (John 20:25).
So why dedicate a special day to this doubter?
First, Thomas was an apostle – no small honor – and he did go on to become a great evangelizer, notably in India. Fruits of his work persist to this day, a fact driven home recently when I had the joy of encountering nuns from the Asian subcontinent whose religious congregation numbers 5,000 members.
At another level, Thomas the Doubter is a kind of Catholic Everyman. Like him, we have lots of reasons to trust Our Lord. Like Thomas, we often have the testimony of good people who try to assure us of Jesus’ providence. And yet, like Thomas, we still find doubts springing up in us.
The journey of faith is, of course, a work in progress. Rarely a once-and-done deal, faith requires a struggle with the mysteries and heartaches and challenges of day-to-day life. We can even dare to think that things will never work out, as though Our Lord has lost control of the world.
But Jesus remains in control, just as he did even in the dark depths of Good Friday. Thomas’ probing of those nail marks and the lance wound on Easter evening must have been taught him that even the vilest indignities of the executioners couldn’t mar the glory and power of Christ.
That’s a lesson worth recalling. For an extra nudge in this direction, take a look at our Retreat Guide A Cure for Discouragement. And bid adieu to doubts.
Father Edward McIlmail, LC
Ask a Priest contributor