April 7 - Be more like Doubting Thomas. Ask for what you need!

On the Sunday after Easter, we always read the same passage of scripture.

The twentieth chapter of John is the story of Thomas, the sole disciple who has not seen Jesus since the horror of the crucifixion. The others tell Thomas that Jesus has come back from death and has appeared to many people.

Thomas is skeptical. He has the audacity to ask for proof; to see the risen Jesus with his own eyes before he can believe this crazy story.

At this point, we are usually scolded and warned not to be like (Doubting) Thomas. We are sternly advised that we must operate on pure faith, which is, by definition, belief without proof. So we swallow hard and push the questions down deep within us.

Father Jonathan turns this idea on it's head. We all struggle with doubt. Jesus' message is complex, counter-intuitive stuff. Don't let your doubts keep you from his richness. And don't make the classic mistakes:

If you conclude that you can't go to church because you don't believe some of the Christian message, and you would feel like a hypocrite, you are only hurting yourself.

If you avoid the church out of spite or false pride, you're wrong - staying away punishes you, not us.

Tragic things will happen to you and those you love. The church can help. Some of your life's milestones should be solemn and sacred occasions. We have the rituals and symbols. It is a mistake to let your doubts hold you back from this richness and love.

Ask for what you need! Reach out. Touch Jesus in prayer. Ask clergy. Read and study. You will not regret it.