Scripture Reading: John 20:24–29
Context: Thomas was not present with the other disciples on Easter Sunday when the Lord appeared to them. It seems that Thomas did not so much doubt that Jesus had risen; rather, he seems to have willfully chosen not to believe. This denial of the Resurrection of Jesus was more of a personal choice than simply a lack of understanding.
Thomas is given to us as a model for all who refuse to accept the Gospel because of pride. Perhaps he was upset when he realized that Jesus chose to appear to the others without him being present. This initial refusal on the part of Thomas should teach us that we must never allow our egos to cloud our willful acceptance of the truths of God.
Note that it was not until eight days later that Jesus appeared to the disciples again. Eight days! This must have seemed like an eternity to Thomas, who may have been brewing over this experience. He would have heard the ongoing conversations of joy that the other disciples joined in as they discussed the gift they had been given by seeing our Lord. But Thomas could only sit and sulk over the fact that he did not see our Lord.
Of course, by the abundant mercy of God, that all changed when Jesus did, once again, appear to the disciples, this time with Thomas present. In His great mercy, Jesus invites Thomas to overcome his denial and pride by touching the wounds and to become believing. Though it is far better to have believed without seeing, Jesus lowers Himself before Thomas and allows him to see. What an act of humility on the part of our Lord! This is a great lesson for us on how to deal with those who struggle with pride.
This passage, of Thomas’ failure and redemption, is a lesson on how far God is willing to go to transform us. Thomas cries out, “My Lord and my God!” These words have traditionally been spoken by many throughout the history of the Church at the moment of the consecration of the Sacred Host as a way of admitting that we are all much like Thomas.
Use this meditation to especially look at any way that you, in your pride, refuse to believe in all that God teaches us through the Scripture and the Church. Be believing. Surrender over your disbelief.
Reflection: Prayerfully ponder John 20:24–29 using the methods of meditation and contemplation with which you have become familiar.
Featured Image:Doubting Thomas, Guercino
Introduction to the Meditations for the Easter Season
- Resurrection of Jesus and First Apparition
- Second Apparition
- Third Apparition
- Fourth Apparition
- Fifth Apparition
- Sixth Apparition
- Seventh Apparition
- Eighth Apparition
- Ninth Apparition
- Additional Apparitions
- Ascension of Jesus
- Contemplation to Attain Divine Love