My family will never let me live down my car accident season. My dad teases that his Excursion shudders every time we drive near the site of the crash. My siblings like to remind me that I should have hit the dog, not the pole. My uncle likes to tease the deer are out for revenge. Despite a very good driving record up until then and even better after- no one wants to let me live down those few accidents. Even my husband (who wasn't around for this!) brings them up.
I have sympathy for Doubting Thomas because of this. He makes one mistake, struggles with his faith once, and is somehow strapped with this title as the disciple who failed to believe. Today's Gospel tells Thomas' tale, of struggling to believe that Jesus had returned and stood in the midst of the Disciples. But in all fairness, all the others had seen Him. Not only that, but He ate in front of them, proving that He was physically there, not just spiritually.
Thomas was just the unlucky one who missed the opportunity to see and believe. And he was the loudmouth who declared what it would take for him to believe. But Thomas is still a saint, still one of the 12 Apostles who followed Jesus from the beginning of his ministry. He would go on to preach and teach for years after Jesus. He didn't let that mistake define him, despite what we have defined him by.
That, my friends, is the beauty of our forgiving faith and merciful God. Jesus did not turn Thomas away or shame him for his doubt. It was humanity that remembers him for failures; God will never hold your mistakes against you! Thomas' story is not a story of blame or judgment, but of mercy and love. Just like Thomas, we can go on to become missionaries, teachers, and saints to serve our Lord and our God.