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Doubt no longer but believe

Doubt no longer but believe

Today we remember doubting Thomas.  When I consider his most famous moment, I can’t help but remember the way that Zechariah was struck dumb for his lack of faith and that just yesterday we heard Jesus chastising his disciples, ‘Why are you so frightened, you men of little faith?’  In the light of that, consider how Thomas – who said ‘I refuse to believe‘ – must have felt when Jesus came and stood among them!  Of course there must have been indescribable joy but surely he must have wondered how he was to be treated?

‘Peace be with you‘ Jesus said.  Then he turned to Thomas and spoke directly to him.  There were no words of rebuke at all, but simply, ‘Put your finger here; look, here are my hands. Give me your hand; put it into my side.’  Jesus could have been critical, harsh or unforgiving but instead he was gentle and forgiving.  Jesus speaks to us as each heart needs to hear and of course it was not only Thomas’ heart that needed to hear those words, but the hearts of countless others, down through the millennia.
Having been so understanding, so gentle, so forgiving, Jesus is also amazingly generous.  He gives the one with the least faith the great grace of being the first to address Him as God.  But with privilege comes responsibility and Jesus had a request to make of Thomas: ‘doubt no longer but believe.’  Of course Thomas lived the rest of his life with great apostolic zeal, travelling all the way to India to bring the Good News to all he met.  Let us pray that we might always follow Jesus’ example and be gentle, forgiving and generous to all whom we meet, so that they might have the freedom to be the disciples they are called to be.

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