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458 SAINT JOHN CHRYSOSTOM Homily 87 (John 20.24-21.14) 'Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said, "Unless 1 see, 1 will not believe," , etc.1 Just as it is an indication of gullibility to believe easily and carelessly, so to scrutinize and examine immoderately before believing is the ,mark of an obstinate will. That is why Thomas is blameworthy. For he refused to believe the Apostles when they said: 'We have seen the Lord,' not so much because he did not trust them, as because he considered the thing an impossibility-that is, resurrection from the dead. He did not say: 'I do not believe you,' but, 'Unless 1 put my hand into his side, 1 will not believe.' How did it happen, then, that though all the Apostles were gathered in one place, he alone was not with them? It is likely that at that time he had not yet returned from the dispersion of the disciples that had recently taken place after the death of Christ. And when you see the disciple reft:sing to believe, reflect on the mercy shown by the Lord: how even for the sake of one soul He showed Himself with His wounds, and came so that He might save even the one soul, despite the fact that this one was more crass than the others. That is why he was seeking to have his faith substantiated by the least spiritual of the senses, and did not even believe his eyes. He did not say: 'Unless 1 see Him,' but, 'Unless 1 feel Him with my hands, lest what is seen be somehow a ghost.' Even though the, disciples deserved to be believed when they reported these things, and Christ Himself, also, since He had promised the Resurrection, nevertheless, when Thomas demanded more, Christ did not refuse it to him. Yet why did 1 John 20.24,25. HOMILIES 459 He not appear to him immediately, but only after eight days had passed? So that in the interval Thomas would be instructed by the disciples, and by hearing the same thing repeated would be inflamed with more ardent desire and become stronger in his faith afterwards. 'From what source had he learned that Christ's side was pierced?' He had heard it from the disciples. 'How is it, then, that he believed that, but did not believe the other story?' Because the latter was very strange and unusual. But please notice the honesty of the Apostles, and how they did not conceal the least details, neither their own actions nor those of others, but recorded them all with great truthfulness. Jesus once again stood in their midst, but did not wait to be approved by Thomas, or to hear from him any such conditions as he had laid down for accepting the apparition as genuine. On the contrary, without Thomas' saying anything , He Himself forestalled him by fulfilling the desires he had expressed, thus proving that He was actually present when Thomas had uttered those words to the disciples. I say this for He used the selfsame words, though very reproachfully , and with the addition of an admonition for his future conduct. After saying: 'Bring thy finger, and see my hands, and put thy hand into my side,' He added: 'and be not unbelieving , but believing.' Do you see that Thomas was hesitating because of his unbelief? However, this was before he had received the Spirit. Afterwards they no longer doubted, but were henceforth unhesitating in their belief. But it was not only by these words that He reproved him, but also by His next words" For, when Thomas, now fully convinced, could breathe again and cried out: 'My Lord and my God,' Christ said: 'Because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed. Blessed are they who have not seen, and yet 460 SAINT JOHN CHRYSOSTOM have believed.' This is indeed a proof of faith, namely, to accept what we have not seen. For, 'Faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that are not seen.'2 Moreover, Christ was here declaring that not only were His disciples blessed, but also those to come after them, who would believe. 'Yet,' you will object, 'the disciples did see Him and they believed.' However, they were not looking for any such evidence, but...


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