One of the main actors in this Sunday’s gospel (John 20:19-31) is the apostle Thomas, the man we have come to know as Doubting Thomas, because he said, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.” What is not frequently appreciated, though, is that Doubting Thomas is also Confessing Thomas, “My Lord and my God!” Confessing Thomas became the apostle who brought the gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of India and died a martyr, after he was run through with five spears by five soldiers. That doesn’t sound like the story of a doubter, does it? He only started off his resurrection journey as a doubter but the end story revealed to us how much this man had come to embrace the resurrection as a real life-changing event. He had grown, changed, and named a new relationship with Christ; a new way of seeing life, and a new way of living it.
Doubting Thomas, therefore, was only a starting place for this saint and it was in this place that Christ met him. My friends, we all have our starting places, the facts of our lives today, the circumstances that surround us at this moment. It could be deep regrets, loneliness, sorrow, loss, illness, old age, disability, uncertainty, overwhelming darkness, disappointment, betrayal, you name it. It could also be joy, celebration, gratitude, etc. The point is that we all have a starting place, the room with locked doors and that is the place where our resurrection journey starts; the room where Christ shows up on this today, breathing peace, hope, and courage unto us and saying, receive the power of the Holy Spirit; the strength to unlock the locked doors and step out into the freshness of a new beginning.
Remember that the locked doors did not prevent Christ from entering into the room where the apostles were hiding, filled with fear and disappointment. It is the same with us. Our resurrection journey begins with recognizing Christ as He enters into our places of darkness and with willingness, allow him to take us and walk us out of our encasement. Will you welcome him? Will you trust him? Remember, Jesus may come to you when you least expect it and where you least expect Him, even in the most secret depths of your soul. He often startles us, as he did to the disciples, who were inside locked rooms, and one week later, Thomas. My friends, our resurrection journey should be a journey to freedom. So let us extend to Christ the chains of fear, anger, wrath, addiction, unforgiving spirit, and evil tendencies that hold us, and he will break them by the power of his resurrection.