Daily Devotion 07 April 2021

Create a peaceful space to pause, and allow yourself to feel God’s presence alongside you, as near to you as your own breath. In following the reflection below, as a church we will draw closer to God and to one another as we grow in faith and deepen our sense of belonging to God.

John 20:24-29 ‘Thomas Can’t Believe It’

24 But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
26 A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”

‘The Incredulity of Thomas’
Bernardo Strozzi (1581-1644)

‘Doubting Thomas’ has become a phrase in the English language and we might well be grateful to Thomas for expressing and representing some of our own doubts. Which of us has never doubted? Not many I suspect, it’s a sad part of being human. Even though Jesus rebukes Thomas for his lack of faith, he doesn’t dismiss him. In fact, the encounter elicits a profound and personal profession of faith by Thomas: ‘My Lord and my God!’. Jesus drew forth something extremely good from Thomas’ doubts, and he can bring something good from our doubts too. We sometimes worry when we question the Church’s teaching, but it’s healthy to examine what we believe, so that we can come to an adult understanding of our faith. God gave us minds to think and to question; doubting can be an honest step in our faith journey.
When Thomas said, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe”, I’ve always heard those words as a plea. I think that Thomas wanted Jesus to be alive so much that he dared not believe in case it wasn’t true. Whatever was going on in Thomas’ heart was put to rights in the meeting with Jesus.

Thomas lacked faith in his brothers and sisters. His independent mindedness refused to accept their word, needing proof to reach his own conclusions for himself. As Christians today we have to rely on the word of others. Thomas, with all the other Apostles, arrived at the conviction that Jesus is supremely trustworthy as a messenger from God; that all he said about God and about himself is true; that therefore his words are the supreme truth, and they are life for us all.

Jesus meets us wherever we are on life’s journey. He knows that in our walk of faith we face many challenges. In his final words above, it is of us he speaks, and us he blesses: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”

Prayer:

Heavenly Father,
when our faith is weak, grant us wisdom.
When our bodies are weak, grant us strength.
When our journey is long, grant us perseverance.
In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Reflection & Prayer © 2021 Ann Caffyn.
Image freely available online.

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