Joanne Jamis Cain is a steward of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Ambridge, Pennsylvania. She has been married to the love of her life, Jim for thirty five years. They have two beautiful children and two grandchildren. Joanne is a wedding and event planner. Visit her blog at http://katherinesdaughter.com/. Her first book "Ordinary Is Extraordinary" was published in spring of 2016.
No story in the Bible portrays doubt more vividly to me than that of St. Thomas. As a young boy, he was passed on a love of the Law of Moses by his parents. Rather than play games with his friends, he spent his time studying scripture. It was no surprise then when he recognized Christ as the Messiah, and left his boat and fishing nets to follow Him.
When Jesus presented Himself to the disciples after his death, it was within a room with locked doors. Christ showed them the marks of his Passion but Thomas was not there. When Jesus was gone and Thomas returned, Thomas would not believe the others when they said, “We have seen the Lord.”
Thomas said, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” Upon Jesus’ return, He stood in their midst and said, “Peace to you!” Then to Thomas He said, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving but believing.” (John 20: 25-26)
Thomas answers Him and says, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus then answers “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20: 28-29)
Have you ever heard the term “Doubting Thomas?” This Biblical story is the origin of the saying. Until Thomas touched the Lord’s hands and side himself, he did not believe that Jesus had come back to life. I believe Thomas’ not being present was no coincidence and that God provided this opportunity for a beautiful lesson. In his infinite patience, Jesus took the time to come back to Thomas and reassure him of life after death.
In my own journey with faith, I was schooled early in the stories of Jesus and the Resurrection. Whether it was my youth or otherwise, I did not fully grasp the true life after death meaning. It was upon the death of a young man at our church a few years ago that it finally hit me. The words of our priest as consolation to us all, “If you believe in the Resurrection” touched me deep in my core. I don’t remember the rest of what Father said but I know at that moment I believed.
These past few weeks I’ve seen the loss of three people near and dear to me. As I get older the levels of sickness and death feel like they are multiplied. My faith gets me through the difficult times. I know that God is with me and with the others who pass on. Though my heart is heavy with grief, I never fear for those who leave this earth. I believe in the Resurrection and everlasting life.
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