You know, sometimes I think we don’t know what we believe until we’re called upon to explain it. Especially for those of us who are “cradle Catholics” – the ones who were baptized Catholic and have grown up in the faith all our lives. We often just accept the things the Church teaches, and never really stop to question them. And that’s okay, but it’s also okay when we’re called upon to explain our beliefs, if we have to do a little research. Because there’s always more to learn, and there is always more believing to be done!
“Do not be unbelieving, but believe” is what Jesus tells St. Thomas today. He might as well say that to all of us. Because we should never stop exploring our beliefs, never stop learning about our faith. We’ll never know it all anyway – at least not on this side of heaven. On that great day when everything is revealed, things will be different, but until then, we have to renew that call to “not be unbelieving, but believe!”
I once had a couple preparing for marriage in my office. The bride was not Catholic, but they are preparing to have their wedding in the Catholic Church, so they of course were going through our marriage preparation program. The groom remarked when we met that day that “this might sound bad, but I’ve been learning more about the faith in explaining it to her.” I told him that didn’t sound bad at all, and that moments like that are an opportunity for us to grow in faith. So many spouses of people going through RCIA have said the same thing: they learn as much as their non-Catholic spouse when the attend RCIA with them. Learning about our faith is a life-long, joy-filled process. Do not be unbelieving, but believe!
And so we are going to give poor Thomas the so-called-doubter a break today. Because we all need to grow in our faith. And what a wonderful invitation we have from our Lord: “Do not be unbelieving, but believe!”