Thomas was one of the twelve Apostles and he did not hide the fact that he did not believe what they told him about the Resurrection of Jesus. He insisted that he would not believe unless he was able to place his fingers in the very wounds of Christ. And Thomas has gotten a bad reputation in the church for this doubt. We should ask a question however. Is it that bad to have doubts? In fact, isn’t there something good about having doubts?
Our doubts cause us to go deeper and to ask questions. I would rather have doubts than simply being indifferent to the whole mystery of the Resurrection. Indifference leads us to disengage and isolate. Doubt makes us ask questions, to seek and search. This search is a very important part of the life of the faithful. The only way we arrive at faith is by moving through our doubts and hesitations. What does this resurrection really mean? Why is it so important? Why do Christians say that the Resurrection is the sublime mystery of our faith? People have asked me if I personally ever have doubts about the mysteries of Christ? I have to be honest and answer that I absolutely have had doubts. And those doubts turn out to be the inspiration for further growth in the spiritual life. Our doubts are the key to growth. They encourage us to look more closely at Scripture and perhaps to talk with other people of faith and good will.
Over the past several months, we have been engaged in a very significant pastoral strategy along with all the parishes of the Archdiocese of Chicago. This is called Renew My Church. Here are some of the words we pray throughout Renew My Church:
Pour out the gift of your Holy Spirit upon us, and so enable usto hear you clearly
to listen to each other attentively
to imagine our future boldly
to discern your direction wisely
to persevere in your holy will courageously
to stay together in charity
to surrender our own plans readily
to embrace the greater good
to hand on your gifts to future generations.
May we remain in the holy company of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the apostles and all the saints.
Every phrase of this prayer encourages a sense of trust and confidence in God’s plan. Consider the fact that the Blessed Virgin Mary, apostles and saints all experienced doubt. They persevered even in doubt and thus became vessels of God’s grace. We are forming a whole new parish with St. Mary of the Lake Parish. Transition and transformation of parish life can easily lead us to doubt the process and spirit of the effort. I am convinced in the power of prayer to lead us beyond this place of doubt. We can find possibility and hope by moving through our doubts and fears. I was absolutely inspired by our parish faith community during this past Holy Week. I saw a community that is hungry to know the Lord. The ushers faithfully reminded us of all the Covid protocols. The liturgical and music ministers proclaimed His Resurrection with confidence and joy. And the faithful came to celebrate His Resurrection. We all know that change is difficult. But we can also take strength from the witnesses around us who continue to celebrate faith. Thank you to every single minister and participant in our Holy Week services. Our Lady of Lourdes parish is blessed by your faithful witness.
One last thing… During the Triduum, I received an anonymous donation for the Awakening Concert that we had in February. It appears that some continue to view the concert on YouTube. Last week, Our Lady of Lourdes received a donation of $30,000 for the concert. This brings the total donation for that concert to $84,728. We are amazed and grateful. The Awakening Committee and I join in thanking you and the friends of the parish who are always looking out for us. Happy Easter!