In his interaction with Thomas in today’s gospel, Jesus pronounces a blessing on all who will come to believe without actually seeing Jesus…the generation of Christians who never saw Jesus in person but come to believe through the testimony of first and second generation disciples and the written words of the gospels. By extension, this “blessing” also belongs to you and me.
Personally, I think Thomas, rather than going down in history as “the doubter”, could be considered a wonderful role model for Christians today, particularly young people who wrestle with concepts of the faith. Thomas was strong. This is the fellow who, when Jesus returned to the Jerusalem area to attend to Lazarus, said to the others (John 11:16):” Let us go to die with him.” During the Last Supper, he is the only one to ask Jesus for an explanation of what he was talking about (John 14:5): “We don’t know where you are going. How can we know the way?” None of the other disciples understood, but only Thomas had the courage to ask.
When he got back to the house that Easter evening, it would have been easier for him to go along with the crowd. We can just imagine how much his fellow disciples were pressing him to believe what they were telling him. Instead, he stood firm in the face of a lot of pressure from friends. When he did come to believe, however, he was again a pillar of strength and determination in what he believed. While the other disciples remained in the more familiar cultures of the Mediterranean region, Thomas went to India to bring the word to a whole different linguistic and cultural setting.