We call him Doubting Thomas, a mean nickname, but John’s Gospel names him “Thomas, called Didymus.” The name Thomas (from the Hebrew to’am) means “twin”, and the name Didymus (from the Greek) also means twin. It’s like saying his name is “Twin, called Twin.” And that’s perfect, because the very idea conveys twin ways of being in the world, the ways of faith and of doubt, belief and unbelief. Is Christ real or not? It’s a perfect question on this Second Sunday of Easter, when the joy we experienced last week may already be fading as we settle back into the usual. Thomas wants to see Christ in person, not just hear it second-hand. He wants to touch
Christ’s wounds. He's not seeking more than the other disciples got (they didn’t rejoice until they saw the wounds, either!) - he wants what they had, what we want: direct experience of the Risen One. Doubt isn’t a moral failing. It’s the human condition. Think of the kinds of questions we ask today. If Christ is real, why am I still lonely, suffering, or sick? Why is my family in turmoil, my workplace a mess? Why violence, racism, death? Hard questions. Yet while we doubt, we still come to church; we sing our Glorias and Alleluias; we break the bread; we go out into the world and live
as believers. Faith doesn’t resolve our doubts; faith teaches us to live with mystery, at the intersection of doubt and belief.
Like Thomas, we believe by touching the wounds of Jesus and proclaiming, “My Lord and my God!” We call ourselves the Body of Christ, and we are—the sufferings we’ve named are his wounds. But he is risen, freed from the constraints of time and place, and his gifts are peace, rejoicing, and transformation. Thanks to: Thomas F. Ryan and Deborah L. Wilhelm in “Living the Word”