Like Thomas, all of us want physical proof of God’s presence in our lives

The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravaggio (1601-1602). 

Subscribe to “The Examen” for free on Apple Podcasts

Advertisement

Subscribe to “The Examen” for free on Google Play

Join our Patreon Community

The Second Sunday of Easter is often called “Thomas Sunday,” since it is the day on which we read one of the most beloved of all Gospel stories, the tale of the man unfortunately known as “Doubting Thomas.” I say “unfortunately” because I think that this is somewhat of an unfair moniker. After all, Thomas was one of the most faithful disciples among the Twelve, and he can be forgiven for having a hard time believing the other disciples when they said that Jesus had risen from the dead. He’s a reminder to all of us who struggle with faith and doubt, toggling between the two from month to month, day to day, and sometimes even hour to hour.

All of us want, like Thomas did, physical proof of God’s presence in our lives. And that’s one reason that the Daily Examen is so helpful. It invites us every day to look not at the kind of dramatic revelation that Thomas had of the Risen Christ, but on the somewhat quieter moments of revelation: a phone call that lifts our spirits, an email that brings good news, a book that helps us to understand things better. And more: people and places, things in the natural world, love. God is being revealed to us every moment of the days. And so all these moments should make us say what Thomas says to Jesus, when we realize who it is who is speaking to us: “My Lord and My God!”

[Don’t miss any of the latest writings, podcasts and videos from Father Martin. Sign up for his newsletter.]

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Dr.Cajetan Coelho
4 weeks 1 day ago

Saint Thomas the Apostle - Pray for us.

Brien Doyle
4 weeks 1 day ago

Read up on 'pre-destiny'.....
Your 'prayers' are blasphemy and useless....

Will Christie
4 weeks ago

Dear Brian Boyle, So help me to understand. You are here only to single handedly "witness" to the blasphemy of Catholicism in little written "sound bytes"? LOL I always mention to Protestants that without the Catholic Church doing all the heavy lifting for 1500 years of spreading the gospel, Protestantism would not exist because Christianity would not exist. Blessings to you in your crusade. May you find peace and salvation in your beliefs.

Brien Doyle
4 weeks 1 day ago

Read up on 'pre-destiny'.....
Your 'prayers' are blasphemy and useless....

J. Calpezzo
4 weeks ago

lol

Robert Landbeck
4 weeks 1 day ago

The 'good' news is that such a perfect proof has now become accessible to man. The bad news is that this new literal proof for faith comes within the first wholly new interpretation of the Gospel and moral teaching of Christ for two thousand years. I wonder if history is about to repeat itself?

Michael Barberi
4 weeks 1 day ago

Thanks Fr. Martin. God is revealed to us in so many ways. We just need to be attentive and aware of his grace and our many blessings.

Alan Johnstone
4 weeks 1 day ago

If you read the passage again, you will find that the Risen Lord already knew about so many of us who believed although we did not see.

Rhett Segall
4 weeks ago

I am reminded of a story John Shea tells. As an altar boy he was serving Benediction. He was kneeling, sleepy eyed, on a prie-dieu before the Monstrance. Suddenly the thought entered his mind: "I'm more than bread, you know." Somewhat taken aback, he began to have the same thought as he encountered everything: "I'm more than a tree, you know." "I'm more than a class mate, you know." "I'm more than your mother, you know." He realized that God was speaking to him in every experience.

J. Calpezzo
4 weeks ago

I don't know why John singled out Thomas, all the 11 had a lack of faith.

Will Christie
4 weeks ago

Perhaps John used Thomas as an allegory for the doubt within all of us. Doubting Thomas has, at least until recently, been a commonly understood expression in secular society. Thomas may not have achieved immortality in his earthly achievements, but he is now one of the most famous disciples of Jesus. Who cannot resonate and sympathize with his doubt? I think (and I have no Biblical scholarship) that having 1 individual express the doubt of all personalizes this issue. We like to read stories about a unique human being rather than a group. Another example is after the crucifixion, seemingly all the disciples fled and were afraid of Jewish authorities. They sought to separate themselves from Jesus. Yet the Bible focuses on Peter, who denied Jesus 3 times to the extreme of making a sacred oath to deny Jesus. This is a much more shocking and powerful story than just knowing that all 11 of the original disciples seemingly lost their faith and ran away.

Michael Bindner
4 weeks ago

Unless you believe the circular reasoning by St. Jerome designed to glorify virginity, Thomas the Twin was either Jesus' look alike or the Twin of Simon the Zealot (all named for Maccabees). His despair would have been greatest. He had moved to despair and resignation, even as everyone else in the family had seen Jesus, both on the way to Emmaus, at the tomb and in the Upper Room. He must have thought they were either crazy or hurtful. He had to see for himself. Was he wallowing? Yes. He felt as alone as any could be. That changed when he saw who is brother really was in a way he could not see before. What if your brother showed up from the grave as God?

Will Christie
4 weeks ago

I would say to my brother "I guess I was wrong. Smoking 2 packs of cigarettes per day for 50 years doesn't kill you." Sorry. Forgive me, just kidding.

Patrick Chisholm
3 weeks 6 days ago

A phone call that lifts our spirits and the like, I don't think would convince a skeptic. Instead, cite the tremendous evidence of a transcendent Creator being uncovered by science: the fine-tuning of the laws of physics; the mathematical eloquence of the universe; the incredibly sophisticated engineering inside the cell, which evolution cannot explain. Or look to the strong circumstantial evidence of the authenticity of the Gospels and the Resurrection. Or look to the many apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Or the subsequent miracles (healings, etc.) associated with those apparition sites. Or the scientifically unexplainable Tilma of Guadalupe. Or Shroud of Turin. Or incorrupt bodies of saints. The evidence of God, the authenticity of the Gospels, and the authenticity of the Catholic Church is overwhelming.

Advertisement
More: Saints / Easter / Prayer

The latest from america

At the time of his death, U.S. Army Veteran Timothy Fowl left behind no known friends or family. But every student left school that day keeping Mr. Fowl’s memory alive.
A Honduran asylum seeker released from detention holds her son while waiting at a bus depot in McAllen, Texas, on May 19. (CNS photo/Loren Elliott, Reuters)
Federal officials are releasing thousands of asylum seekers in Texas. A Catholic Charities facility is taking up the challenge of providing temporary food and shelter after grueling journeys.
J.D. Long-GarcíaMay 24, 2019
Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott in ‘Aladdin.’ (CNS photo/Disney)
There was a moment during “Aladdin” when I thought, “This would have made a terrific animated movie.”
John AndersonMay 24, 2019
Responses to 10 of the principal objections that are commonly raised against the Catholic Church's teaching on the ordination of women.
Avery DullesMay 24, 2019