They say seeing is believing. But if you’ve ever ordered a pair of pants online, you know that’s not always the case. Whatever the photos promise us, what looked like a perfectly nice shade of navy blue on our computer screens comes in the mail as an unusual shade of blue green that only appears in the giant box of Crayola crayons.
The Apostle Thomas, who couldn’t bring himself to accept that Jesus had risen from the dead without seeing him, is such an utterly relatable figure in the Gospels. Thomas is still reeling from a loss — not only of his good friend but his Lord, who was taken prisoner and crucified before his eyes. Thomas is guarding himself. He’s not believing the hype. He’s going to be the only judge of what is real and what is fiction.
Would any of us be any different? We’ve all had those thoughts. Can we believe it all — Jesus, salvation history, the Eucharist — when we haven’t seen it with our own two eyes?
That’s when we need to remember that those two eyes were absolutely positive they had ordered a pair of navy blue pants.
It’s easy for us to sit back stroking our chins in judgment at Thomas, “you didn’t believe the testimony of your friends!” But do we accept the testimony of our friends? The saints, the popes, the Church fathers themselves?
Sometimes the things that are most worthy of believing can’t be seen with the naked eye.
— Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS