Category: saints

Doubt and faith. Love and Joy

Thomas called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, ‘We have seen the Lord,’ but he answered, ‘Unless I can see the holes that the nails made in his hands and can put my finger into the holes that they made, and unless I can put my hand into his side, I refuse to believe.'”

And so Thomas called the Twin became Thomas called the Doubting.

I have often, because I am made that way, felt that I would have gone away grieved to my heart that 10 of Jesus’ other friends, and Mary Magdalene had seen Jesus and I had not. Always I have felt, that I would have felt .. well left out! Why had Jesus come to the others and not to me?

There are many, many words written by scholarly Writers, much ink spent on explanations, comments including the frequent ‘ Doubt is good’ and we all doubt from time to time. But, the thought is always there ~ had I been in Thomas’ place ~ I would have wondered ‘Why did he leave me out? Doesn’t he love me?’

This possibly says more about my own feelings for my Lord than it does for Thomas, and I can easily relate to how Thomas felt 8 days later when,

The disciples were in the house again and Thomas was with them. The doors were closed but Jesus came in and stood among them. ‘Peace be with you.’ he said. Then he spoke to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here, look here are my hands. Give me your hand, put it into my side. Do not be unbelieving any more but believe.’ Thomas replied, ‘My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him,

You believe because you can see me. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”

I hear, and read no scolding for Doubting Thomas here, I do hear, and feel the love of Jesus for Thomas, and the love of Thomas for Jesus… I can see, Thomas falling at the feet of Jesus, see tears of a wounded heart made whole as well as the worship of a man who utters for the first time in the Gospel pages “My Lord and my God.” Worship for me, is bound up tightly in that word, Love. Later St Peter, left us some words on believing.

You have not seen him; and still without seeing him you believe in him and so are already filled with a joy so glorious that it cannot be described; and you are sure of the goal of your faith, that is the salvation of your souls.”

Why did I choose two little birds, mother and her little fledgeling?

Because our Lord watched over Thomas, Peter and the others for 3 years, and after dying for them and for us, after burial and Resurrection returned to teach them how to fly… true he had to tip them out of the nest on the day of Pentecost and carry them out into the streets on the wings of a mighty wind, but fly they did, including Doubting Thomas, in faith believing, in love ~ Messengers of the Gospel of peace.

A final word from Jesus

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” The Lord replied, ‘if you had faith like a mustard seed you could say to this mulberry tree, “Be uprooted and planted in the sea,and it would obey you.”

The thing which bound Jesus, his disciples and us together is Love. Love does not see fault in doubting but looks to see Doubting Souls fly.


Scriptures from New Jerusalem Bible references:

John 20. 24-29, 1 Peter 1-9, Luke 17.5,7

Photo: unsure of origin but not my own.

And he showed me more, a little thing…..

Julian of Norwich (2016) by Christinel Paslaru

And he showed me more, a little thing, the size of a hazel-nut on the palm of my hand, round like a ball. I looked at it thoughtfully and wondered, ‘What is this?’ And the answer came, ‘It is all that is made.’ I marvelled that it continued to exist and did not suddenly disintegrate; it was so small. And again my mind supplied the answer, ‘It exists, both now and for ever because God loves it.’ In short, everything owes its existence to the love of God,” #1

“All that we owe is redeemed in truly loving God,

for the love of Christ works in us:

Christ is the one whom we love” #2

Julian of Norwich one of my favourite spiritual writers and teachers remembered at our midweek Holy Communion this morning.

#1 From chapter 5, Revelations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich born 1342,date of death unknown

#2 From Canticle 86.. A Song of Julian of Knowledge (Common Worship: Daily Prayer)

The icon of Julian of Norwich is in the Julian Church, Norwich and painted by Romanian Orthodox Painter, Christinel Paslaru, (2016)

From The First letter of St John 4: 9

This is the revelation of God’s love

for us,

That God sent his only Son into the

world

That we might have life through him.