The Doubting Thomas of the Gospel poses a challenge for us who seek to be committed to parish life and to life with God.
Certainly we saw the numbers of people who came to Mass last Sunday and said in the back of our minds, if only they would come every week!
How is it possible for a person who has encountered Christ to loose their faith? Faith is a fragile gift. Certainly we can practice our faith first as a parish on Sunday and secondly as a family at home. People can become complacent in their practice and allow themselves to become lost and confused in their relationship with God. They endanger their true worship of God and risk loosing the faith freely given them.
But for a person who works at his/her relationship with God and becomes ignited by the fire of his grace, it is possible never to forget the promises made to them by God here at this Altar for eternal life. Divine Mercy helps us to remember the fragility of our faith and with what mercy God desires us to reconcile ourselves with him.
Yes, it is possible to loose our faith by ignoring it or by denying it through complacency and shame. The risen life is a struggling life-it is also, because of that struggle, a life filled with joy at being with God. It is a life that is more real, more human, and more virtuous.
In order to live the resurrection, we have to practice Christian virtues and worship here as a People called by God. All of us who have been fully initiated into the Catholic faith have, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, gifts of virtue like patience, hope, fortitude, fear of the Lord, charity, temperance and courage. The resurrection means taking a proactive stance in the life of virtue and consciously practicing them in the parish, knowing that sometimes we will fail.
Today’s scripture presents Thomas who cannot believe without more evidence, without more signs. Christ even reveals his wounds and yet he does not believe. Jesus tells him: “Do not persist in your unbelief but believe.”
As we embrace the risen life let us more diligently practice those virtues that have become a contradiction to the world in which we live. We who are faithful to our commitment to the Church in our family and in this parish should pray for those who have become complacent. Bring them back, O Lord, to the place you wish them to be. Infuse in their hearts a fire that will burn through Divine Mercy.
The Church announces paschal joy to the whole of humanity. In that joy resounds victory over our fear and mediocrity. “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief!” Accepting the life of faith will invigorate the old world and make it new!
This is the day to take great consolation in the words, “Although you have not seen him you love him; even though you do not see him now, you believe in him, you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, as you attain the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”