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Doubting Thomases

July 3, 2020 - I do not believe that it is a coincidence that today is the Catholic feast day of St. Thomas, the Apostle – Doubting Thomas as we have called him through the centuries! According to the Gospel of St. John, Thomas was the apostle who did not believe that Jesus had resurrected until he saw him for himself – put his hand in his wounds, touched him. He needed proof! What greater proof than to see with your own eyes!

How many Doubting Thomases do we have in our country today who are refusing to wear masks against a killer virus they can’t see? We are setting records this past week for new cases of the virus around our country because many of our fellow citizens are not willing to believe what they are being told by scientists, doctors, governors, nurses, maybe even family members! And because they don’t believe, they are risking their own lives as well as the lives of many others by not maintaining social distance, wearing masks, and staying away from crowds. Some people are even insisting that the virus is just a hoax! Worse of all, is that they are forgetting a fundamental truth of citizenship that St. Paul underscores in our first reading. Paul tells us that as believers we are intertwined or knitted together into one structure, one body that is held together and that “grows into a temple sacred in the Lord.” As citizens of our nation, we are also bound together to form “a more perfect union.” A nation of people who care for one another and who work for justice, peace and the well-being of all of us – not a nation of individuals that work only for themselves and their own self-interests and irresponsibly refuse what they don’t want to do even though it has been proven in other parts of the world to work in lowering the cases of the virus and even eradicating it. Do they need to see the virus at work in front of them, sickening their parents, grandparents, sister, brothers, neighbors, children, and even themselves before they believe? Jesus tells us “Blessed are those who have not seen, but still believe!” As we prepare to celebrate our nation’s birthday tomorrow, let us reflect on the power of that message and on what we are called to do as Catholics, Christians, people of faith, and citizens of our United States – to be caring, responsible members of the body for our good and the good of our families, communities and nation. This is such a challenging time for our patients, residents, caregivers, our own loved ones, and ourselves. We wonder “When will this be over?” I think a better question is “What can I do to be a better, more patient, and caring member of this community for the sake of the whole?”

May this 4th of July be a time of reflection on the values that we hold dear as a country – liberty, freedom, equality, equity, peace, justice – as well as the core beliefs we hold sacred