I love this painting. I wonder what Jesus was thinking, as He so kindly invited Thomas to actually put his hand into those Precious Wounds. Did Jesus really take Thomas by the hand, as depicted above, and Himself guide the apostle’s fingers to the Wound in His Side?
One would think Thomas would not have dared touch the risen Jesus on his own. The other two apostles are watching intently. Did they also still have doubts? Did they need to see Jesus’ Wounds as well?
How patient Jesus is….willing even to allow His Wounds to be probed in order to satisfy Thomas’ doubts.
Then, looking at Thomas and the others…..perhaps looking down through the centuries, He spoke those most beautiful words, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” (John 20:29)
At Mass today, my pastor reminded the congregation that Jesus was speaking about us…those of us, “..who have not seen and yet believe.”
We are not “blessed” because we have done anything of ourselves. Rather, we are blessed because God has so generously given to us the gift of Faith, enabling us to believe all that was passed down to us through those very apostles who first entertained doubts about the Resurrection.
Is it not a miracle of grace that we believe in Someone Whom we have never seen with our eyes or heard with our ears or touched, like Thomas? We believe that He knows and loves us, that He died for us over 2000 years ago. We believe that He rose from the dead, and that He is coming back someday to take us to live with Him forever in a place called Heaven.
We believe in a God Who is One Being with Three Divine Persons. We believe that bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ at the words of Consecration by a duly ordained priest.
There are some who think we are mad indeed to believe such things. But, we not only believe, in a sense, we know. We are sure. We stake our lives on these tenets of our Creed.
For there is something more going on within us than mere belief. It is a conviction, wrought within us by the Holy Spirit. And, each time we assent to the gift of Faith given to us at Baptism, it takes deeper root. It penetrates our souls, becoming so much a part of us, until we are sure that we would shed every drop of our blood before denying Jesus Christ and the truths taught by His Holy Church.
How is such a thing possible? Is it not a miracle that you believe what you believe? That millions upon millions have believed the same things?
Jesus knew it would be so. That is why He thought of us so long ago.
Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.
Yes Lord, we are blessed indeed. You have given us what we could never possibly earn or deserve…the precious Gift of Faith.
Thank You, Jesus for the Grace to believe, which opens to us the doorway to all of the countless other gifts which You pour into our souls. We pray for those who do not yet believe in You. Please have Mercy on them, that they too may be counted among those who will love You forever.
And thank You for thinking of us so long ago, dear Jesus, and counting us among those whom You called “blessed.”