Sunday, April 23, 2017

In Praise of Doubting Thomas

Caravaggio's Incredulity of Saint Thomas (1603)
On the First Sunday after Easter the minister mused sympathetically about Thomas, the disciple who has been pilloried for millennia because mere faith wasn't sufficient for him to believe in the Resurrection:
Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
[John 20:24-29]
On a weekend where we honor science, let us praise the Thomases who stubbornly insist on seeing the evidence for themselves, despite overwhelming social pressure to go along with the crowd.

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