Thomas, the Twin, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he replied, “Until I have seen in his hands the print of the nails, and put my ﬁnger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
Eight days later, the disciples were again inside the house and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your ﬁnger here, and see my hands; stretch out your hand, and put it into my side. Do not continue in your unbelief, but believe!”
Thomas said, “You are my Lord and my God.” Jesus replied, “You believe because you see me, don’t you? Happy are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”
There is a quality of the personality that a psychologist like Carl Rogers calls congruence and which pretty much boils down to acting out what you believe. Some people may lack tact and polish when they voice their opinion, but at least we know what they think. They might be irritating at times but they are refreshingly honest. Such was the apostle Thomas. He spoke his mind without beating around the bush. He didn’t hem and haw. Maybe that is why Jesus loved him enough to make him an apostle. Thomas’ expressed skepticism is a thing of beauty. Or at least it is much better than a cowardly fear facing one’s doubts.
Another thing of beauty in today’s gospel reading is the extraordinary graciousness of Jesus. Instead of harshly scolding Thomas for the latter’s lack of faith, he meekly submits to the “test” imposed by Thomas and thus invites him to inspect the marks of his wounds. Such mildness cannot fail to touch even the hardest heart.
A third and last thing of beauty is Thomas’ reaction of complete and unconditional surrender. He ends up making the greatest confession of faith contained in the four gospels!
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