A Reflection on Thomas the Believer

Cassie Schutzer
Monday, July 3, 2023

Today is the feast of Saint Thomas the Apostle. At Mass, we hear one of my favorite Gospel stories of all time: the appearance of Jesus to His disciples in the upper room.

There’s one character in this story who tends to get more press that the others: Thomas. He becomes known as “doubting Thomas,” the one who needed to see in order to believe.

Do we condemn Thomas? Judge his unbelief? After all, didn’t he spend several years of his life walking with the Lord, listening to His teachings, and being prepared to carry on His ministry? Shouldn’t belief come easy to him?

Moments of doubt, fear, and unbelief in the life of faith are unavoidable, even to the strongest believer. Look at Peter, who denied Christ three times and was still chosen as the first leader of the Church!

The story of Thomas gives hope to all of us who have doubted at some point in our lives. For how does the Lord respond to his doubt? He meets it with love. He brings Thomas to understanding. He reaches out and gives Thomas what he needs in order to believe.

The Lord meets our doubt with love as well because he thirsts for our faith. He reaches out, takes our hand, and says, “Put your finger here and see my hands…and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”

Let’s not be so hard on Thomas, for he represents those moments when we struggle to recognize Christ in our own lives. Those moments when we are met with love and brought back to belief. So really, we can call him Thomas the human, Thomas the awestruck, Thomas the believer. Because in the end, he surrendered to the Lord and returned home to Him.

In our own doubt, fear, distrust, or confusion, let us ask the Lord to enter into our lives. To give us His peace. To take away our unbelief. To bring us home.