Sometimes we get labeled, whether justly or unjustly. This is certainly the case in today’s Gospel reading. Jesus had appeared to the apostles, but Thomas had not been present. When the other apostles told him about it, he couldn’t accept it. Even though they had been together for three years, he still doubted them.
Some people called Jesus a great prophet. Others called him a teacher. Still others called him the Christ or even the Son of God. But it was the apostle Thomas—the one who has forever been labeled the “doubter”— who first proclaimed Jesus to be “my Lord and my God” (John 20:28). In the words of biblical scholar Fr. Raymond Brown, Thomas made “the most complete affirmation of Christ’s nature to be found on the lips of anyone in the Gospel.”
My Lord and my God! Every miracle Jesus performed, be it the healing of the man who was lowered down through the roof, the healing of the blind Bartimaeus, or the raising of Lazarus, points to these four words. Every teaching Jesus gave, be it the Sermon on the Mount, the parable of the prodigal son, or the Golden Rule, points to these four words. Every revelation of God’s mercy and love points to who Jesus is and how he wants us to see him.
Thomas represents each of us when we say, “I find it hard to believe.” Just as Jesus rejuvenated Thomas’ faith, he wants to rejuvenate ours when we are caught up in doubt. He wants us to be like Thomas—a people who overcome our very human and very natural doubts. He wants to help each one of us say, “Jesus, you are my Lord and my God.”
So today and all week long, proclaim these four precious words. Then watch to see how his grace will help you believe even more.