“Doubting Thomas”

ImageThomas was the one who held out his belief in Him until Jesus appears to him after the resurrection.  He’s supposed to represent the rest of us believers who doubt, sometimes or a lot of the times.  Yet Thomas does not represent us because he got to touch and feel and to see for himself.  

Centuries later we are hear still doubting and wondering (as well we should) but still looking for that touch, that quick feeling of assurance.  If that were to occur in our lives then it would no longer be faith.  It would be fact.  “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed,” is how the Thomas story ends.  It is the unseen that weighs faith’s strength.  It is the unknown that measures faith’s depth.

A fellow employee was talking to me about beginning a new relationship after an eleven year marriage.  He said that one night he prayed to God to give him a sign that something was possible for me and the next day he met the woman he’s been dating the past three years.  So now, he believes.  I guess he touched and felt faith.  Now he’s a lifelong faithful follower of Christ?  Time will tell but keep the oxygen flowing through your lungs.

It reminds me of Frank Morgan, the Wizard in “The Wizard of Oz” – with smoke blowing, levers moving up and down, left and right as he maneuvers his omnipotent ways to match our temporal and fleeting requested ways.  “Ahhh, I guess there is a God,” says my confident friend after his supposedly divine association.

St. Augustine, writing in 300 or sometime earlier than most of us have lived, summarizes how little time has past between us and how still we forget that we who have not seen are truly blessed, even in our doubt.

Don’t you go drawing back from your God, love your God.  You are always saying to him”give me this and give me that”…say to him sometimes…”give me yourself.”
if you love him, love him for nothing…
don’t be a shameless fool.  you would not be pleased with your wife if she loved your gold…if the reason she loved you was that you had given her gold or given her a fine dress or given her a splendid Villa or given her a special slave or given her a handsome eunuch because if these were the things she loved about you, she would be loving you.
Don’t rejoice in such love as that, the adulterer very often can give more.
You want your wife to love you for nothing…and you in turn want to sell your faith to God?  “Because I believe in you” say to your God, give me gold.
Are you not ashamed? “Because I believe, give me gold.

You have put your faith up for auction.  Notice its price. that is not what it is worth…it is not to be valued in gold or silver…that is not what your faith is worth.
It has a huge price tag; God himself is its price…love him and love him freely for nothing.  You see,  if you love him on account of something else you aren’t loving him at all.
You must not want him for the sake of anything else but whatever else you want you must love for his sake, so that everything else may be referred to love of him, not so that he may be referred to other loves, but that he may be preferred to other loves. 

Love him, love him freely… for nothing. 

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About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). www.Salvatorians.com. He is associate pastor of partnering parishes, Christ King and St. Bernard parishes in Wauwatosa, WI.
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