• Devin O'Donnell

Do not be unbelieving

Perhaps we are all familiar with the story behind the name given to the more skeptical of the apostles. In twentieth chapter of John's gospel, we read about "Doubting Thomas," who wanted to subject the report of Christ's resurrection to what we might call a scientific analysis:

24 Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”

So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”

26 And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” 27 Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”

28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

This point of this scene cannot be clearer: do not be unbelieving, but believing. Sight is a gift, but having the theological virtue of "faith" is better. While subjecting everything to empirical observation may be familiar to us, Jesus kindly disabuses Thomas (and us) of that kind of epistemology. "Blessed are they who believe." And this is something for which we modern skeptics should all be very grateful.

There is more here as well, which we shall discuss tomorrow...

Agenda for this Monday:

  1. Prayer

  2. Begin the Great Ideas Reading Guide for this week

  3. Historia:

  4. Continue reading Herodotus (studying Cyrus)

  5. Hermeneutica:

  6. John 20 study & the "Weight of Glory"

  7. Work a bit more on studying Christ's post-resurrection actions

  8. Literae:

  9. Finish Book X of The Odyssey.


  1. Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect. Pray, that you may not stumble.

  2. Complete your Great Ideas Reading Guide for this week

  3. 5 Commonplaces and 1 memorized for Friday.


Consider Caravaggio's depiction of Thomas' incredulity.

CARAVAGGIO The Incredulity of Saint Thomas 1601-02 Oil on canvas, Schloss Sanssouci, Potsdam

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