Doubts and Faith
On this Second Sunday of Easter, we hear the Gospel of Doubting Thomas. That is because the event described takes place the Sunday after the Resurrection of the Lord. This Gospel leads me pondering two main questions: “Why do we have doubts?” and, “Why do we have faith?” I know that doubting is part of being a human being, but I am still shocked when I read that not only did the disciples doubt the Lord during His ministry on earth and during His Passion, they even doubted Him after the Resurrection. And it was not just Thomas. Look at Matthew 28:16-20. As the disciples gathered on the Mount of the Ascension, Jesus appeared again to them, but, the scripture says, “some still doubted.” Why did they doubt? Here they had the Resurrected Lord right in front of them. That was more than Thomas had when the other disciples told him that they had seen the Lord. Perhaps, some of the disciples on that mountain wondered if this really was a ghost, or a strange phenomenon. Most probably, their doubts were simply part of being human beings.
What then are the causes of these doubts? The most serious cause of doubts in our faith come when we leap into immorality. Many go through a period of hypocrisy, saying one thing in Church and doing something altogether opposite outside of the Church. But eventually, the hypocrisy catches up with us all, and we have to make a choice between living a lie or rejecting our faith. We are not going to be able to deal with our own hypocrisy. So the choice will be to either change our life or reject our faith.
But why do we have faith? Perhaps we have faith because faith is all that we can hold on to when we are in crisis. That is a very good reason for faith. Or perhaps we have faith because we know what we are like, how we would live our lives without faith. That is also a powerful reason for our faith. But the most important reason for faith is this: We have faith because we have experienced the Love of God in our lives as individuals and as a people. We have faith because we have felt His Love within us at various times in our lives, usually when we least expect it. We have faith when we reflect on how pointless life would be if Jesus had not Risen from the Dead, given us His Life, and gifted us with the Holy Spirit.
At the end of today’s Gospel we heard: “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name”. We have faith because Jesus has given us life. The tomb is empty, but our lives are full. Jesus Christ is our deepest love. His presence makes all life worthwhile. His presence is a guarantee of eternal life and eternal love. This Sunday is Divine Mercy Sunday. The Lord knows us better than we know ourselves. He sees what is going on inside of us and calls us to trust in Him. We live under the mercy of God.