“… Kindle the faith of the people you have made your own … that all may grasp and rightly understand …” These words are from the opening prayer of Mass on this Sunday after Easter. The Gospel is the episode where the Apostle Thomas, unwilling to believe the other disciples telling him that Jesus was alive, demands the outrageous “proof” of being able to put his hand into the wound in Jesus’ side. It is difficult to hold on to faith. We always do want proof, and even though Jesus grants Thomas’ wish, he also admonishes him: “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” In Mark’s Gospel, the risen Christ rebukes the eleven for hardness of heart because they did not believe Mary Magdalen and the other women. No one saw the resurrection. They heard about it from witnesses. Witnesses in our own lives handed on faith to us. Of course I think of my parents, but also of teachers, friends, chance encounters with faith-filled people, writings of saints, those who work for justice, and those who act with integity despite great personal cost. They become like a gentle stream of faith I swim in. Then I don’t have to work so hard to understand it all; I only become part of the stream of belief flowing through time from the side of Christ into which Thomas placed his hand.
– Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia