Info on 2011 Holy Land Pilgrimage

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April 02, 2008

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Malcolm+

My own take on Thomas is that it wasn't so much doubt as fear. Like the rest, he was afraid. But unlike the rest, he had not experienced the Easter Day resurrection appearance. Perhaps he wasn't even there to here the testimony of Mary - the apostle to the apostles - when she first came to tell them that she had seen the Lord.

I think and have always thought that Thomas held within himself the kernel of belief. He wanted to believe. But he was afraid to believe - afraid of the disappointment if it turned out not to be so.

In the world, seeing is believing. But in the gospel accounts of the first resurrection appearances, it's the other way around. Mary doesn't recognize Jesus - until the penny drops. The two men on the road to Emmaus don't recognize him until he practically draws them a flowchart - oh, and breaks some bread.

Thomas, with false bravado, proclaims that he will not believe unless he sees - and touches. But when the proof is proffered, he ignores it. "My Lord and my God" is perhaps less about faith overcoming doubt than about hope overcoming fear.

Cheryl

Thanks Joe. In the place where I am right now, ressurection and its promise is a big thing. Hope is a big thing.

I particularly appreciated this.

joseph

Malcolm - I think it interesting that Thomas earlier enthusiasm ("let us also go there and die with him") is perhaps forgotten in our reading of the dynamics of this story. I also toy with the idea that Thomas (like the rest of us) experienced a variety of thoughts and feelings. It would seem to me that doubt and fear (and confusion and disillusionment) may all be interwoven, just as on the 'positive' side love, joy, hope etc all seem to be connected.

Cheryl - I am glad there is some measure of encouragement to you & yours.
In my prayers.

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