1 Jn 5:1-6
Our gospel begins today on what is called the first day of the week. It is a fitting statement because it is the day of Jesus’ resurrection and a time of new beginnings. The apostles are together in a locked room, minus Thomas and the betrayer Judas. Suddenly Jesus is in their midst despite the doors being locked. His first words to them are “Peace be with you.” His presence and his words bring peace to them to replace the fear and anxiety they were experiencing since his death.
Thomas returns to the group but he is still filled with fear and his damaged faith. He won’t believe the experience of Jesus’ presence among them. He wants proof.
Thomas is very much like many of us who want physical proof when it comes to religion and spirituality. How many Christians truly believe that Jesus is present today just as he was to the apostles on that first Sunday? We received the Holy Spirit just as the apostles did that first evening. Do we believe that the Spirit is active in our world today guiding us and encouraging us to be the presence of Jesus for our world? We must go beyond the physical level and open ourselves to the reality of divine life and really experience Jesus as God’s incarnate presence among us.
In the gospel Jesus tells Thomas to place his hands in the wounds from Good Friday. What’s amazing is that we never find Thomas doing so but he does come to believe when he says, “My Lord and my God!” Can we say the same? The Risen Christ continues to love the apostles in spite of their human weakness. They love Jesus and they will continue to see him with spiritual eyes. We are loved by the Risen Christ despite our human weakness and we also can experience him with spiritual eyes. Prayer and reflection, spiritual practices and a deep desire to love God are the keys to this “spiritual seeing.”
How would you describe your faith? Do you believe with spiritual eyes?
If you are a “doubting Thomas” what are some ways you can deepen your faith to see/believe with spiritual eyes? What are the blocks to doing so?