I think we get too much credit for believing without seeing. Faith is a remarkable gift but does a sight actually confirm anything? Those who see can still waver in their faith and be a victim to discouragement, distrust and confusion. It is so awesome that we can have great faith 2,000 years after the one we adore walked this earth. However, we have a major advantage for being in our present time.
We know more about Jesus than the apostles did when they followed him. We have the complete love story at our fingertips from creation to eternal life. The apostles were living their lives, waiting for their Savior. They did not understand what their salvation would look like and they did not know that every single sin of theirs would be forgiven on the cross. These people did not have the ability to experience the life-changing event that is the Eucharist. Jesus even had to explain this to them in John 13:7 when he said, “What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later.”
When Thomas touched the hands of the resurrected Jesus, Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” – John 20:29. Yes, Thomas lacked faith and yes, he had to see physical proof but he also just got news that Jesus came back from the dead.
I can’t fathom how I would have reacted in this instance. This man was just in his grave a couple days prior and proceeds to walk into my locked house and tell me to touch his wounds. I think I would’ve found the nearest escape.
The fact that I can quote the SAVIOR OF THE WORLD is my argument. I have access to his words, truth and love in the Word. I can get my hands on the catechism, books, music, blogs and podcasts that share insight about our Lord. I have the ability to contact those with religious vocations with any questions on my mind. People all over the world have Ph.Ds in Theology and Religious Studies and even more than that teach and are mentors on faith. I can research the lives of the saints and great miracles that occur every day. I can receive the sacraments and the greatest of all, I receive Jesus’ body and blood in the mass every week.
Not following? Let me put it this way. For the sake of my explanation, you are now a waiter/waitress at a Mexican restaurant. Olé! A celebrity is sitting in your section so you take his order, bring him margaritas and ask how his carnitas burrito was. Your fellow employees are telling you that this special person is in award winning movies and all over magazines so you believe them. Then you ask the celebrity and he confirms it. You don’t know much about this individual but he tipped well, took a picture with you for your Instagram and your shift was memorable.
Your friend sees your Instagram post and is freaking out because she has posters of him all over her room. She has not met him before but pre-orders all the movie tickets that he stars in, watches all of his interviews repeatedly and has customized t-shirts with his face on it. She has learned all of this about him without seeing him in person, touching him or talking to him.
Who has better insight that confirms their knowledge? The apostles were serving guacamole and we are buying autographed items on eBay. Both are witnesses but on much different terms. The apostles’ complete devotion to the Lord is inspiring and I strive to be more like them. They were believers with a sight, but we cannot forget that their faith had to be remarkable in that time of intense persecution.
Seeing without believing is not easy and I admire all those who are steadfast in their relationship with God. We haven’t even seen anything yet but I don’t think this is necessarily a limitation. I am still a witness to his revelation all day long. There is so much peace within me that faith alone is enough. I pray that your faith will guide you and will give you great hope for the future!