Eastertide: Walking like Saint Thomas

O sons and daughters, let us sing! The King of heaven, the glorious King, o’er death today [Easter] rose triumphing. Alleluia! That night the apostles met in fear; amidst them came their Lord most dear, and said, “My peace be on all here.” Alleluia! When Thomas first the tidings heard, how they had seen the risen Lord, he doubted the disciples’ word. Alleluia! “My pierced side, O Thomas, see; my hands, my feet, I show to thee; not faithless, but believing be.” Alleluia! No longer Thomas then denied, he saw the feet, the hands, the side; “Thou art my Lord and God,” he cried. Alleluia! How blest are they who have not seen, and yet whose faith has constant been; for they eternal life shall win. Alleluia!

O filii et filiae, The Hymnal 1982

We are called to walk as Saint Thomas walked. For centuries, it appeared that many throughout the Church Catholic (Universal) have labeled him “Doubting Thomas” because of his natural first response to the Risen Lord. Instead, I offer that the Church might call and even commemorate him “Faithful Thomas” because of his far more common journey to believe. In John 20:19–31, Jesus said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” Thomas answered, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”

If we are waiting to see and touch the Risen Christ, aside from the real presence of his Body and Blood at the Holy Eucharist, we are likely to be disappointed and to remain in doubt. If we walk by faith and not by sight as a baptized people of hope, justice, and love, asking questions about God along the way, we are bound to be blessed eternally. Like Saint Thomas, it will be evident that we are believers in and bold followers of Jesus.

Easter blessings and peace as we try,

The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector