RCL Year C, Easter 2
Acts 5:27-32, Psalm 118:14-29, Revelation 1:4-8, Saint John 20:19-31

“My Lord and my God!”[1] You just heard Thomas’ profound exclamation in the proclamation of the Gospel today. “My Lord and my God!”

It marks the end of his spiritual journey to complete faith and belief, and the whole of that journey occurs in just three verses, the shortest on record in the Gospel. This journey is remarkable for what it is and for what it isn’t.

First: what it is. It is like the journeys of Mary Magdalene and Saint John himself which we saw in the Gospel on Easter Day. Thomas’ journey is complete, like theirs. All three of them have moved from unbelief through conditional faith to an unconditional acceptance of the risen Lord.

For Thomas the journey is this. He is not in the room with the disciples when the Lord first appears to them and commissions them. But they tell him that they have seen the Lord. Thomas moves to conditional faith when he demands to see the mark of the nails, to put his finger in the mark of the nails, and to put his hand in his side. Jesus meets his conditions and appears again a week later, telling Thomas to place his finger in the mark of the nails and to put his hand in Jesus’s side. I notice that once Jesus appears, Thomas has not to do any of these things. Jesus’ presence alone convinces him, and he exclaims “My Lord and my God!” His journey is complete in three verses.

Now for what Thomas’ journey isn’t. Thomas’ journey is not like Saint John’s. You remember that Saint John enters the tomb after Peter. He sees the linen wrappings, and he immediately believes. He hasn’t seen Jesus. He believes just on seeing the linen. Thomas’ journey is more like that of Mary Magdalene, who discovers Jesus as he is talking with her. He calls her name, and she recognizes him. She needs to be in his presence to recognize him, and so does Thomas. Jesus tells him to fulfill his conditions about the mark of the nails and the wound in his side, and that is enough for Thomas. He then believes unconditionally.

You remember Jesus’ last word in the Gospel today: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”[2] That is Saint John, and it is you, and it is me. Mary and Thomas needed to see to believe. But we have something else that enables us to believe. We have the Scriptures and this Gospel in hand, and we are blessed by the holiness God gives to his faithful people from generation to generation, a holiness that only God can give. But with them, in their presence, we can join those who believe and say with Thomas: “My Lord and my God!”

[1] Saint John 20:28.

[2] Saint John 20:29.