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When I was 21 years old, I went to Christmas Midnight Mass in Notre Dame Cathedral in Parish. Needless to say it was pretty amazing – beautiful liturgy in one of the grand churches in our faith. But I almost didn’t make it inside the building. While we were waiting in line, the police announced in multiple languages that the church was full and there would be no more room. Many people left. But my friends and I stuck around and sure enough in about 15 minutes they opened up the doors and we were allowed in.
“Good things come to those who wait,” is a classic piece of sage wisdom. We see this in our gospel this Sunday. Jesus appears to the disciples, but Thomas is absent. When Thomas returns he doubts his friends in a grand speech. The next line starts like this, “Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them.” If your friends started saying that they spoke to your executed and buried leader, would you stick around for a week? Would you remain with them?
Even though Thomas doubts what his fellow disciples were saying, he still sticks around. Even though he doubted their witness and questioned the resurrection, Thomas stays with the group until Jesus returns.
And how is he rewarded for staying with the other disciples and remaining in the community? He meets the resurrected Jesus Christ face to face. Thomas’ response to this encounter is to affirm that the risen Jesus is his, “Lord and God.”
What do we learn from Thomas and his story? If we are doubting or questioning our faith, if it is hard for us to believe the witness of our friends or understand the confident faith of others at church, our best response is to stick around. Even when we aren’t “getting anything out of church,” or finding it hard to believe, if we are willing to wait, God will make himself known and meet us in our unbelief. Then, after meeting the risen Lord face to face, we too can say that Jesus is our Lord and God.
Give God 2 more minutes. Either at the end of your prayer time or after Mass this weekend, sit back down and close your eyes and pray for just 2 more minutes asking God to be with you the following week. Invite your family to do this as well; you might be surprised by Jesus.