We live now in an over-informed age. At a click we have access to any sort of information on any topic; facts, analysis, speculative, sensationalised, real or fake. News tickers update us constantly exhausting us till we are tired of knowing. We find that we shut ourselves from listening and reading, and become selective to what we ‘click’.
We shun knowing anything that doesn’t directly affect us.
In this internet age we have easy access to so much news and information, some so incredulous that we are no longer even slightly amazed. It doesn’t matter if it is real or fake, we may not even be interested. If Jesus lived and died in these times and is resurrected from the dead and appeared to a handful of people, how many of us would not have grave doubts? Or actually be even interested if it didn’t directly affect us?
We are the modern day Thomas. We cannot bring ourselves to simply ‘believe’. We demand that our ‘unless’ is fulfilled with a convincing proof. “Unless I can put my hands into his side, I refuse to believe”. Or perhaps there is no urgent need to ‘believe’ because at this moment we don’t need God in our lives.
However, knowing is not enough. Catechetical knowledge is not sufficient. Knowing the facts is not enough to bring about ‘believe’. ‘Believing’ is a process. It requires a personal experience to bring it about. This process actually begins not with knowledge but with a personal encounter with the Risen Christ.
Incredulous as it may sound to the Thomas in us, this encounter is available to us every day. When life is running smoothly we find less need for an active faith life. Yet he is there hidden under our heavy work schedules and active social life. We pay little attention, or even worse, we reject his existence as the notion that God exists has become too incredulous.
Often it is only when we face a crisis that we begin to look for signs of the Divine in life. In our desperate need, we want to ‘believe’ however ‘incredulous’ this has been for us before. Because ‘believe’ directly affects us now. But the long period of ‘unbelief’ in us mean that it will take a time process to get us around the incredulity.
Today’s gospel concludes with this passage, “There were many other signs that Jesus worked and the disciples saw, but they are not recorded in this book”
There are many signs of the workings of the Risen Christ in our lives and these are recorded in the book of our personal life. He has always been present silently working in every small detail. When crisis hit us, we must look into our past history and see how we had emerged from each crisis. There would have been ‘something’ each time that set us on the path of recovery. In that sign of a ‘something’ we see the Risen Christ.
It is only when we encounter him in our personal situation and see the effect He has on our life, can we rise up to ‘believe’ and say in incredulity the words of Thomas, “My Lord and my God!”
2nd Sunday of Easter (A)