Dear Parishioners & Visitors,
We are always courageous, although we know that while we are at home
in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight.
We are all aware of the incident between Jesus and the apostle Thomas. Thomas was not present when Jesus appeared for the first time to the disciples, and when told about it he manifested his doubts about all of it. He said, "Unless I see the holes that the nails made in his hands and can put my finger into the holes they made, and unless I can put my hand into his side, I refuse to believe." Thomas wanted to see and touch in order to believe. He had what we would call today a scientific mind. He needed proof that he could experience in order to accept and believe.
We all share some of Thomas' skepticism. We want to see, we want to touch in order to believe. The values of our secular society have slowly seeped into the mindset of many Catholics. The fear of risking in believing paralyzes many. Some search for proof that cannot be found; and spend their lives sunken in chronic skepticism. Others, sadly, take a fundamentalist approach to the faith, and move into a universe of black and white, where there is no possibility for gray. Their faith becomes rigid and intolerant and they feel secure in their literalism. They live in fear of others and change. They isolate themselves. They develop a sect-like mentality.
In today's second reading, the apostle Paul dares us to be courageous. To rely on a faith that empowers us to walk through the darkness of life. We might not have the consoling and comforting presence of Jesus among us as the apostles did, but we have his words and his promises. And more importantly, we have one another to help and support us in our pilgrimage of faith. We are dared to walk by faith, not by sight. We are challenged to keep moving in our faith journey even when all seems dark and impossible. We are not to stay frozen in a place of safety, but we are to continue our pilgrimage supported by our sojourners. We might not see clearly and may have doubts, but we trust the promises of the Lord. We are to keep advancing in our pilgrimage of faith, knowing that at the end of our lives the Lord who is a just judge will see that each may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.
-fr. Alberto Rodriguez, O.P.