Now after he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. She went out and told those who had been with him, while they were mourning and weeping. But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it.
After this he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them.
Later he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were sitting at the table; and he upbraided them for their lack of faith and stubbornness, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
It’s usually Thomas who gets a bad rap as the one who doubted, as we’ll hear tomorrow. But he wasn’t alone. In Mark’s Gospel, there was general disbelief among the disciples when others told them about seeing the risen Jesus. As the saying goes, “seeing is believing.” How fortunate we are that across the centuries our ancestors in faith didn’t all have to see to believe as well. While there have been a few people here and there – most often saints – who have had a direct sensory experience of the Lord in one way or another, most of us have not. Why, then, do we believe?
If seeing is believing, what have you seen that has helped you to believe? Maybe you have seen loving acts done in service to others or have observed the faithful devotion of someone who you know has a deep and unshakable faith. Maybe you have noticed when events or circumstances have come together in a way that is more than mere coincidence. Or maybe you have seen God in the beauty of creation or in a work of art. Even without seeing Jesus in physical form, there are many ways we have seen and therefore have believed. And that is why we are also called to go into the whole world and to proclaim the Gospel with our lives.
—Mandy Dillon is a Retreat Coordinator at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat Center in Barrington, IL.
Risen Lord, we pray that through the eyes of faith we may see your presence all around us. May our belief in you grow stronger every day, and may we then share that faith with those we encounter in whatever way we can. Amen.
—Mandy DillonPlease share the Good Word with your friends!