Acts 2: 42-47
As I grow older, I like to think I am slowly gaining a little wisdom; I have started to see the label “Doubting Thomas” really does an injustice towards Thomas and perhaps to each of us in our moments of being like a “Doubting Thomas”.
It makes light of a very real spiritual and emotional turmoil that means one could be mistaken for perceiving Thomas as a second-rate disciple, if not something worse.
Do not be fooled! Thomas was no second-rate disciple. He was a man who had been hurt. He was a man whose hopes had been crushed. Thomas believed in Jesus. He had followed Jesus and had made the decision to set his life by Jesus. Now, Jesus had been killed – even dying a death of a common criminal. The weight of the world’s sin, violence and injustice had crushed Thomas’ hope. So Thomas says, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my fingers into the nail marks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe” (Jn 20:27)
The world has not really progressed much, still wounded by sin and its effect. There is hurt. There is violence. There is massive injustice and sin. We all experienced hurt and maybe we have even been the cause of hurt in another person’s life. Before we all get too disheartened, it is worthwhile to note that when our Lord appears to the disciples, he passes through locked and shut doors and says, “Peace be with you.” Through the resurrection there is now another way. We do not have to live focused inward, behind locked and shut doors in fear and uncertainty! We can know life and we can know peace!
Blessed Henry Newman coined the phrase, “Heart speaks to Heart”
Today’s gospel does not really say if Thomas actually did reach out and touch the marks of Jesus’ wounds, but we can say that in this encounter, the heart of Jesus touched the wounded heart of Thomas in love. The heart of Christ spoke the word of resurrection to Thomas’ heart!
Let us all, in moments of doubt, fear, feeling the inward pull or standing in a wounded world,
take a moment for “heart speaks to heart”. May we continue to be resurrected people whose heart to heart encounters gift strength, love, courage, reassurance and peace!
Sr Karen Englebretsen CP, Cross and Passion Sisters. blessed to be a spiritual care worker in the homeless sector in Melbourne.