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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Doubting Thomas or inept disciples.....

Traditionally the first Sunday after Easter, known as the Second Sunday of Easter, gives us the story of Thomas who has been given the unfortunate moniker of "Doubting Thomas."   While he is certainly stubborn, and perhaps even a bit suspicious of the claims being made about the resurrection, he is certainly not a doubter.  He is a seeker.  

But here's the rub, those disciples who were in the room a week earlier--when Thomas was out getting take out or whatever it was that took him away from the group--had been sent by Jesus to go and bring about belief.  In fact he even has breathed the Holy Spirit upon them in order to help them move forward with their mission. "As the Father has sent me, so I send you."   But now, a week latter we find them in the same place!  We find them having moved not one iota since being 'sent.'  And in regards to being able to share the Good News of God....well they couldn't even convince Thomas, who should have been a pretty easy mark, as he had been with them throughout Jesus' ministry.

No, Sunday's reading is not about a man who doubts; but about the ineptness of the followers of Christ to do what they are told with an kind of proficiency.  The Good News is that the risen Christ comes back and is there to help those disciples with their appointed work.  Isn't that our good news as well?  That Christ continues to come in our midst, even when we are ineffective and seem to lack the ability--or perhaps the will--to be his people.   It is then, perhaps especially then, that Christ returns again, and again, and again, nurturing our faith and once again encouraging us to be about his business in the world.
Incredulity of Thomas, 1601, Caravaggio

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