We are split between the ways of the world and the ways of Christ. Our life journey is a constant tug-of-war between the two. Worldly life is demanding; it requires us to win all the time. Spiritual life is demanding; it wants us to always give. We do our best to reconcile both ways but often end up falling in between two stools.
They both promise a heaven of happiness. The worldly version more tempting as it is more immediate and clearly visible. The other is sometimes a path through pain and suffering, easily leaving us too doubtful. In reality our worldly ideals have let us down all too often when we fall short in winning. Disappointment after disappointment, failure after failure leave us disillusioned, and doubtful. Life oscillates between two doubts.
The seed of faith takes root in a world of doubt. Thomas had a doubt. He did not believe that the Risen Christ appeared. We share the same doubt. We harbor it every day. We do not have enough belief that the Risen Christ is present in our daily living to let go and trust him completely. With this doubt, we turn away to embrace the ways of the world … until those ways lead us into a dead end. Straddled by two doubts, we are lost.
‘I’ have been here before, disillusioned by the world. I have left my life in faith too far behind to simply return to it. I cannot make sense of the regularity in which the world continue to let me down. Beaten and desolate I try to find peace. I am lost. Once again I begin my journey through doubts.
This is a familiar rhythm of life; the falling and the rising, the straying and the returning. ‘I’ must fall and stray to the extreme before desperation awaken my spiritual sense. I find myself alone with my issues fearing the worse. I am tired and have lost all hope. I sit in the darkness of my worldly life. In this sense, I am somewhat like the disciples today locking themselves in a room because of fear.
Then out of that fear the Risen Christ ‘appears’. Events will happen – to an untrained spiritual mind – ‘coincidences’. Strangers appear out of these coincidental happenings. Linked together they slowly cut through the doubts. Darkness brighten into hope. Suddenly, peace descends on us. People around us point to the presence of the Risen Christ. Seeing him in our personal life we proclaimed, “My Lord and my God!”
This is the message of the Easter season. The Risen Christ want us to know that he walks with us on this worldly journey. It is okay to doubt because he understands the weight of the world on our shoulders. It is okay to fall and stray again. As he did for Thomas, he simply reappeared again. And so he will also continue to reappear for us until we are without doubt.
All of us have a story to share. It is our turn now to tell our story, “We have seen the Lord”. The Risen Christ need our stories to make him visible to others, so that they too can see and believe. The second reading says our faith is the victory over this world.
Indeed unworthy as we feel of ourselves, God is present in our daily living. God is in our midst. We can together banish all the doubts.
“You believe because you can see me.
Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.”
Second Sunday of Easter