Finding Faith in the Risen, Lord

Christ is Risen! There are two images in today’s readings that provide insight into the faith of the people at the time of Christ’s Resurrection. One image demonstrates great faithfulness without a great amount of knowledge and the second one reflects a questioning heart though there was knowledge.

The first image is that of the people in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas who flocked to the streets and brought the sick to Peter, “And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women, so that they even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and pallets, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them…and they were all healed.” (Acts 5:14-16) These people heard of what had happened to Jesus and believed. They didn’t know the fullness of who Jesus was or what He taught, they just knew that something miraculous had taken place, He was crucified, buried, and had risen from the dead. As one of Jesus’ disciples, they looked upon Peter with starry-eyed admiration. With simple faith they went out to see him and hoped for their own miracles.

We also hear in the Gospel today of Thomas, who was one of the disciples and had witnessed the miracles of Christ, had hear him speak and teach, and had been present throughout the events leading to Christ’s Resurrection; but still could not believe that Jesus had risen from the dead. Upon hearing the news of the Resurrection Thomas tells his fellow disciples, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in His side, I will not believe.” Thomas had the knowledge and he had proved to be a faithful follower, but stumbled when it came to believing all that had happened.

The bottom line. Knowledge is good and beneficial, but ultimately when it comes to our relationship with God, it is the trust and faith we hold in our hearts that carries us. We do not need to know everything to have faith and having knowledge does not guarantee faithfulness in our relationship with Christ. Our faith is what sustains us, and faith is the ability and the willingness to trust in that which you cannot see or understand. Today, we are reminded through the persons of Thomas and Peter and the believers who came to see him, that we are called to give witness to the presence of Christ in others and to trust in that which we have not personally seen. Both of these instances provide important lessons that help us grow in our relationship with the Risen Lord.

Truly He is Risen!