Ephesians 2:19-22; John 20:24-29

"I'll never believe it without probing the nailprints in his hands, without putting my finger in the nailmarks and my hand into his side."

 "You became a believer because you saw me. Blest are they who have not seen and have believed."

All of us have been "doubting Thomases" at one time or another in our lives. Thomas had an "excuse" for his dis-belief: he didn't see it. The evidence wasn't there.  We've all been there. For Thomas then, for us now, it is easy to fall into the simple error of thinking, "Seeing is believing." By God's grace, we come to a real faith - based not on evidence, but on a gifted experience.

When things get tough, it is easy to think, "If only God was more present to me," or "I don't know if my faith is strong enough to handle this."  When things get really bad, we can blame our lack of faith on others: our parents, evil people who have wounded us badly, people in the church who have scandalized us, a faith-less society around us.   Even if we aren't "making excuses" or "blaming others," we can still feel "weak" in our faith, like others "see" something that I just don't see.

The Feast of St. Thomas is a wonderful day to pause, in the midst of our busy lives, to let Jesus give us the experience of faith in him, in God's forgiving love for us, and to renew our mission to love others as we have been loved.

For here, in our upper room, sometimes with the door locked, Jesus comes to us and wants to touch our wounds.  Jesus simply wants to be with us, as we pray, as we drive to work, while we are facing challenges or making choices or offering ourselves for others.  The faith experience that can move us to say "My Lord and my God!" is that very simple, gifted experience of knowing that Jesus knows me, loves me, heals me and calls me.  Today.  With my past, with my wounds, in this church, in this world.  It is the experience of feeling freer, more at peace, a little more able to be self-less-ly for others.  Experiencing his touch is believing.

By A. Alexander