May 13, 2022 –
Our Lady of Fatima
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Within the Gospel account of St. John, there are two conversations between Jesus and Thomas. The more famous exchange we hear on the Second Sunday of Easter, where Thomas doubts what his fellow apostles tell him about the Resurrection. A week later he’s confronted by the Risen Jesus Himself. But today, on a weekday during the middle of Easter, we hear another form of doubt from Thomas.
Thomas expresses doubt in two ways. First, he expresses doubt about Jesus as a leader. A good leader makes sure that his followers know their goal. So when Thomas claims that “we” do not know where Jesus is going, he’s expressing doubt about Jesus.
The second expression of doubt concerns the way towards the goal. Thomas’ words hold a certain logic: it would seem foolish to set out on a journey without knowing the goal. If the pilgrim doesn’t know his goal, then each and every step is as likely to take him farther away from his goal as it is to take him closer towards it.
However, this second expression of doubt is also a doubt about Jesus as a leader. If we trust Jesus to lead us, then why do we have to know the goal? The leader is the way to stay on track: staying close to Him ensures progress towards the goal. We pray with St. John Henry Newman: “Lead Thou me on! / Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see / The distant scene; one step enough for me”.