July 3, 2012

What's in a Name?

The Incredulity of St. Thomas by Caravaggio

I was thinking today that  St. Thomas goes down in history with the name Doubting Thomas. It seems a shame that one little mistake and he gets saddled with this moniker for all eternity. I mean really, who wouldn't have doubted. You hear from your friends that someone you knew was dead is now alive. It's only been a week, they were grieving, maybe drank a bit too much wine.  Who wouldn't have said "prove it?" You don't hear Peter referred to as Denying Peter, or Paul called Persecutor Paul. So why pick on poor Thomas?

I don't know about you, but I have my doubts at times about all this God stuff and Jesus and everlasting life. My goodness, even great saints like Therese and Mother Theresa had doubts. People all the time wonder about the truth of it all. The important thing is what you do with those doubts.  Jesus appeared to Thomas and told him to touch His wounds.  Thomas probably felt a bit embarrassed but then he proclaimed, "My Lord and my God!"  What a statement of faith!  He then went on to evangelize India and did so well that today is a great feast there,

We, in a way, are privileged.  We have 2,000 years of the faith of others to lead us in ours. We have the Gospels and epistles and the Fathers of the Church who handed down to us the teachings of Our Lord and showed us the Truth contained in the faith. 

But then what of  this title of Thomas.  What if we were known for eternity by the one BIG mistake we made in our lives.  I can just hear it...Adulteress Audrey, Embezzler Frank, Susan the Proud, etc., etc.  What a way to be remembered. Then again, it shows the great Love and Mercy that Jesus shows those who sin and seek forgiveness. The Doubter becomes a great saint.  I'd like to be a great saint.  Well, maybe not a great one but a saint none the less. And I just want to be known as Jo-Ann, plain and simple, if you please.

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