Quality Education in the Benedictine Tradition.


Saint Vincent College Faculty Blog

Should we be like Doubting Thomas?

Posted by Michael Krom on Thu, May 1, 2014 @ 11:05 AM

Christ is risen!

We have just passed the Sunday after Easter Sunday.  This Sunday has taken on many names in the liturgical year:  Low Sunday, Divine Mercy Sunday, the Sunday of St. Thomas.  In both the Eastern and Western Church, the Gospel reading is from St. John, where he relates that the disciple Thomas would not believe that Jesus had appeared to the other disciples unless he could touch Jesus for himself.  As St. John relates (Jn 20:19-31), the following Sunday  

Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

This event is why we call this so-human disciple "Doubting Thomas." 

The cover of the reading packet for the Faith and Reason Summer Program has a famous painting that depicts this encounter between Thomas and Jesus.  There is an odd tension here for anyone sensitive to faith and reason:  on the one hand, Thomas is a saint and thus worthy of our imitation; on the other hand, Jesus tells Thomas that those who believe without needing physical proof are blessed.  So, if we imitate Thomas we may get into Heaven, but this is the harder way! 

What most struck me this time when hearing this Gospel is the concluding passages:

Now, Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples
that are not written in this book.
But these are written that you may come to believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that through this belief you may have life in his name.

St. John makes explicit here that even the disciples (or at least one of them) initially would not believe in Christ's Resurrection despite the fact that he had lived with Jesus.  We, who don't dare to put ourselves on the level of the disciples, are asked to believe despite the fact that we did not meet Jesus on the flesh nor see Him in His Resurrected state!  Much is being asked of us!

I suppose this is where a healthy relationship between faith and reason comes in:  faith is not "turning off" one's mind and believing blindly; yet, true reason must embrace faith even when faith cannot offer proof.  Faith without reason lacks understanding; reason without faith is blind....

Topics: summer program, faith and reason; Doubting Thomas

About the Authors

Michelle Gil-Montero is an associate professor of English and director of creative writing at Saint Vincent College. She runs the visiting writers series on campus, oversees the student literary magazine, and serves as guru to aspiring poets on campus. She received her MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 2007, and she has been on the Saint Vincent faculty since that year. She is an active poet and literary translator from Spanish. She is spending part of the 2016-17 school year travelling to Argentina on a Howard Foundation fellowship and Fulbright grant. 

Dr. John J. Smetanka has been a member of the full-time faculty since 1997 and currently serves as the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean of Saint Vincent College, a position he has held since January 2008. Dr. Smetanka has taught courses in Physics, Astronomy, Chemistry and Geology as well as interdisciplinary seminars. He has published scientific research articles in physics and astrophysics journals, numerous conference proceedings and also works in science education reform and the interaction between science, technology and theology.

Jim Kellam is an associate professor of biology at Saint Vincent College and our resident ornithologist. He received his Ph.D. from Purdue University in 2003, and is taking this semester as a sabbatical. What does that mean? He'll explain in his blog posts.

Dr. Michael J. Urick is Graduate Director of the Master of Science in Management: Operational Excellence program, and Associate Professor of Management and Operational Excellence at the Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics, and Government. Dr. Urick teaches courses related to organizational behavior, human resources, culture, leadership, diversity, conflict, supply chain, operations and research methods. Professionally, Urick serves on the board of the Institute for Supply Management (Pittsburgh) and belongs to the Society for Human Resource Management and APICS. For fun, Urick enjoys music and, since 1998, has led and performed with Neon Swing X-perience, a jazz band that has released multiple albums and toured portions of the US. He enjoys watching movies, is an avid reader of fantasy and science fiction, and also likes to fence.

David Safin, C'00, has been a lecturer in the communication department since the Fall of 2003, and has served in a variety of administrative roles since the summer of 2004. Currently, he teaches multimedia in the communication department as an assistant professor. 

Dr. Michael Krom received his Doctorate in philosophy at Emory University in 2007 and is currently the chair of the philosophy department at Saint Vincent. He has authored a book on religion and politics and continues to publish works in Catholic moral and political thought. Dr. Krom also directs the Faith and Reason summer program every summer. 

Subscribe via E-mail

Schedule a visit today

Request Information

Apply now to become a bearcat

Latest Posts

Join the Community