Print

“Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe."

Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, "Peace be with you." Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe." Thomas answered and said to him, "My Lord and my God!"  Jesus said to him, "Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed." (Jn 20: 24-29)”.

"Faith henceforth rests not on sight, but upon the testimony of those who have seen. It is by this faith that Christians enter into deep communion with the Risen Christ "(Note in the TOB).

“We have faith, that is to say, we believe in the word of God, in the revealed  Mysteries, in the infallible interpretations of the Church. I agree.  But the faith which is effective, which does not just control our intelligence, but subordinates ourselves entirely to the work and to the good pleasure of God; the faith which act in us before acting outside of us; the faith which identifies our action with the action of Jesus Christ, of which identifies our action with the action of Jesus Christ, of which ours should be only the continual application; this faith we do not have, or, if we have it, it is weak and languishing” (De Brésillac, Retreat to missionaries, p. 122).

“When Jesus said, “if your faith is the size of a mustard seed you will say to this mountain, "Move from here to there," and it will move; nothing will be impossible for you” (Mt 17:20), was he referring to our ability to recite doctrinal formulas? Or was he thinking of great theological concepts? What did he really mean? Personally, I believe strongly that Jesus was referring to our absolute trust and confidence in the power of God who can do much more than we can ever think of or imagine (cf. Eph 3:20; Heb 11: 1-6).

I am glad to have witnessed this attitude of faith during my time in the parish. I encountered and supported a number of Christian families struggling with serious pastoral cases ranging from spiritual attacks, evil covenants, witchcraft, occultism, perennial sickness, barrenness to shy unimaginable poverty. I must confess I had a lot of doubts and had no idea on how to help most of these families who rightly expect some solution from men of God. In my struggle, I decided to take these problems into prayers. I also thought we could be praying together as well from time to time. I came up with a little prayer book : “Special prayer for breakthrough.”  I think it helped.

Faith is not the absence of doubt or trials and tribulation, but if we come close to Jesus just as he asks Thomas to do so, all the worries, trials and doubts disappear on their own.

The important question for us in this regard is: how much time do we spend with Jesus?”

Jonathan Malong SMA Nigeria. For studies in Kenya