Thomas wouldn’t be at all out of place in today’s “scientific world” would he? We’ve got to have proof of a hypothesis before belief can be affirmed. But it’s not just well trained scientists who struggle to believe, is it? Let’s be honest, we all have our doubts … about all sorts of things! I know I do.
Actually, it amazes me how much doubt I can have at times. How many times, like Thomas, do I challenge “truth” to be proven before I will believe? Why do I insist on feeling the touch of God to believe that he is helping me? Why do I doubt, so often, like Thomas?
And then it hits me (usually when I least expect it – and when I most need it) and what really blows my mind is a realisation that God loves me and always will regardless of my struggles and doubts! Wow!
”Divine Mercy” is more than the human mind can fathom. It is pure mystery and as such it probably can’t actually be understood (even partially) by the human mind. How can we possibly ever understand that there is a love so deep that even when God is ignored, doubted, even rejected (or when feeble attempts are made to put all this stuff into words), there is no wavering from absolute acceptance and pure love on the part of the one we call God. “Go on, put your finger into my wounds,” says Jesus to all our doubts, “because whether you do or don’t it will not change my love for you!” The truth is that doubt in God can NEVER diminish God’s love of us and for us and no amount of doubt, rejection, denial refusal to believe can drive God away from us – or us from God for that matter. Wow! So, maybe doubt isn’t so bad. After all, isn’t doubt the fertile ground out of which springs the new green shoots of the possibility of hope and belief. And, rather than being something about which we never speak, maybe doubt is a gift which leads us to God.
Given that it was Thomas’ strident DOUBT which led him to believe (have a look at the reading – go on I dare you!), maybe we should face up to our doubts and fears … confront them, challenge them, name them … so that in time, maybe, they will be resolved into hopes and beliefs.
So I say three cheers for Doubting Thomas – he is a hero for all of us who struggle with doubt.