(John. 20, 19-29)
“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe”
Christ works with many Christians just as he did with Thomas: He shows condescension and waits first for them to see, then to understand and afterwards to be convinced, and finally to believe. However, these souls move along very slowly, and will not make much progress in the spiritual life. On the contrary, those who first believe without seeing miraculous things greatly advance and quickly. Αnd this happens mainly to the saints. All the saints, from the very first moment they heard about Christ, perfectly exemplified Christ’s words: “those who have not seen and yet have believed”. And believing, they progressed swiftly. Even the most sinful, when they encountered Christ, and the grace of God touched them, did a 180 degree turn: they believed and became blessed.
We must heed these words of the Lord towards Thomas: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe”. The Lord said this not simply because it’s the quickest road, not simply because it’s the easiest road, not simply because it’s the most efficacious road in our relationship with Christ, but because it’s exactly what God wants. The whole account with Thomas is very interesting. Thomas certainly isn’t faithless, nor is he a denier. No- he loves the Lord, but has this one demand: “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”. This, however, is not what God wants. The Lord wants something much higher, and much beyond. Thus, someone who requires research in order to believe cannot understand this. In practice, Lord’s words “blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” mean obedience to Christ. Obedience has faith, and faith obedience.
Is our heart open to receiving the truth and with faith to be given to these sayings of Christ? In order to renounce yourself – your logic, what you think and what you feel- and to be obedient to Christ is, so to speak, a leap towards death. You have none of the certainty which the old man looks for. It is here, however, that faith will appear. And thus, in this way heaven opens, and you become truly blessed.
Holy Hesychasterion “The Nativity of Theotokos” Publications.
Archimandrite Symeon Kragiopoulos