…and be not unbelieving, but believe.
Every year the Sunday after Easter provides us with the story of doubting Thomas. We might wonder where Thomas was when Jesus first appeared to the other disciples, and we certainly have heard plenty about his lack of belief in the testimony of his fellow disciples regarding Jesus’ risen presence. From our vantage point it is easy to criticize Thomas and find fault with his lack of belief in his friends’ words.
While we may not doubt the resurrection of Jesus, we are challenged each day to recognize and affirm the presence of Jesus in our neighbor. Jesus has told us that whatever we do to others we do to him, and the Church teaches that each and every person on earth is an image of God. Yet how many of us fail to acknowledge Jesus’ presence in the unborn, the poor, the immigrant, the refugee, the prisoner, or anyone else on our planet?
Such failure on our part is no different than Thomas’ failure to believe his friends and accept Jesus’ resurrection. Look at our neighbor – see the nail marks, see the divine imprint placed upon him and her. Do not be unbelieving, but believe – treat everyone with the dignity of a child of God, for so they are. And in doing thus, come share the Master’s reward – the reign of God.