Saint Thomas the Apostle’s Lesson for Singles
Most of us have probably heard of Saint Thomas referred to as “doubting Thomas.” He declared that he wouldn’t believe Christ was risen from the dead unless he saw with his own eyes.
There are a lot of spiritual lessons that can be gained from the story of Thomas’ doubting.
Maybe you’re struggling to see God’s plan for your lives in the midst of daily loneliness. Perhaps you think that your efforts are fruitless. If you’re doubting that God has something in store for your love life, Thomas’ struggle to believe can be particularly relevant to your life.
Let’s take a closer look at the life of this doubting apostle and see what lessons his life holds for Catholic singles.
A devoted friend of Christ
We know very little personal details about Thomas’ life before the time when Christ called him to be one of his twelve apostles.
His name appears in the list of the twelve whom Christ called in all of the Gospels. But the first glimpse we get of Thomas’ personality and interactions with Christ occurs in John 11:16.
The other apostles said that they didn’t want to go back to Judea because there was danger from some Jews who wished to stone Jesus. Thomas’ response to this situation shows his love for Jesus: “Let us also go to die with him.”
Later at the Last Supper, Thomas again shows his eagerness to serve Christ. Jesus told the apostles, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. Where [I] am going you know the way.”
Thomas, eager to understand just what Christ means, said “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?”
From these two recorded interactions, we can see that he was a man who was a devoted follower and who wished to understand just how he should be serving Christ.
Yet, even for this man who walked with Christ and knew him intimately, faith did not always come easily.
The famous doubt of Thomas
The “Doubting Thomas” name comes from the apostle’s reaction to Christ’s Resurrection.
After knowing that Christ was killed in a brutal crucifixion, Thomas could not believe his ears when the other apostles told him they had seen Christ risen from the dead.
For Thomas, news of the Resurrection seemed impossible. He declared famously that he would not believe it unless he were to put his own fingers into nail holes in Christ’s hands, and put his hand into Christ’s side.
One week after this, Jesus appeared to all of his apostles again. Jesus told 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.”
With that evidence, he believed. But Christ told him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
What this doubt means for us
All of us doubt at times. I’ve personally always found it interesting that Thomas was such a close, devoted follower of Christ and still had trouble believing.
If a man who walked with Christ and witnessed his many miracles struggled so deeply with doubt, then any of us could fall prey to the struggle as well.
Doubt in our own lives isn’t always as obvious as Thomas’ was. During our single years, doubt might more often take the form of disbelief that God really has a plan for us, that he really hears the cry of our hearts of cares about our pain.
Jesus’ response to the doubt Thomas expressed can help us understand his deep mercy and love for us.
He saw Thomas’s faults and struggles, and he came to give his friend what was needed. Even though Thomas lacked faith and Christ rebuked him for it, Christ still ensured that he was able to get to where he needed to be.
After Christ’s Ascension back into heaven, Thomas went on to preach the Gospel all the way to India and eventually be martyred.
The “doubting apostle” teaches us that our human moments of doubt don’t have to take over our lives.
We can give our feelings of doubt over to God, allow him to show us his plan for our lives. In addition, we make a willful act of faith.
Even in the moments when it is hardest for us to believe that God has everything under control in our lives, we can try to imitate the apostle who professed his faith with the words, “My Lord and my God.”
Adrienne Thorne is a Catholic wife, mother, screenwriter, and blogger, as well as author of the Catholic YA romance novel SYDNEY AND CALVIN HAVE A BABY. She blogs about TV and Movies from Catholic perspective at Thorne in the Flesh: A Faithful Catholic's Guide to Netflix, Hulu, and More.