Why blame poor Thomas? He knew what nerds his colleagues was? He thought of himself as a steady and reliable man and others as a bit flakey. Everyone knew that the dead would not rise again until the arrival of the world to come. Obviously it hadn’t come or the Master would not have died. Moreover, any of the others who were not present in the room at the time of the first appearance of Jesus would not have believed it either.
Thomas might in later life say that he was set up for the purpose of the story, which was to assure those that had not been alive at the time of the resurrection that doubt and suspicion existed in Apostolic times. Would Thomas have said later that he never doubted again? Probably not. Doubt is part of the human condition. Rather he would have more likely said, doubt or no doubt, I never stopped believing.
Fr. Greeley's Last Book:
Once there was a brilliant university professor who, after he received tenure, turned his attention to miracles, contacts with the dead, and near death experiences. Such events, he argued, were delusional wish fulfillment, ignorant superstitions. As a scientists and a scholar it was his job to denounce them and expose them. He wrote many articles and books about the NDE. It was the result, he contended, of alterations of brain chemistry at the time of death.
Once you were really dead, he insisted, you were really dead and that was that. Most of those who had been through such experiences never heard of him. Those that did just shrugged their shoulders and said he’s never been there and we have. One day the professor was stricken with a massive heart attack. His family rushed him to the hospital. He died in the emergency room. But just as the nurse was zipping him up in the plastic body bag, he eyes flickered open and he began to breathe again. The doctors rushed back into the room and this time managed to keep him alive. Later, after surgery and complete recover, he returned home and back to his university.
One day at lunch his colleagues asked him about whether he had encountered any of the NDE phenomena – the long tunnel, the figure of light, the review of his life. Not all he said, nothing like that nonsense ever happened to me. After lunch when he was walking back to the faculty building, his closest friend asked him whether that was the whole truth. Not exactly he admitted. I experienced the whole thing. It was just my brain chemistry, nothing more.
Why did the figure of light send you back? But the doubting professor refused to answer that question.
Psalm 118:1-4, 13-15, 23-24
1 O give thanks to the LORD,
for he is good; his steadfast love endures for ever!
Alleluia Jn 20:29R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You believe in me, Thomas, because you have seen me, says the Lord;
blessed are those who have not seen me, but still believe!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Jn 20:19-31On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.”
Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
But he said to them,
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples
that are not written in this book.
But these are written that you may come to believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that through this belief you may have life in his name.
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Catholics and the Struggle with Their Church
The survey of the archdiocese, which Father Greeley describes as "a very complicated place" demographically, asks some difficult questions, and finds some interesting truths.
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