Webster defines “doubt” as a “feeling of uncertainty or lack of conviction”. We doubt ourselves with feelings of uncertainty, hesitation, and indecision. We doubt God with skepticism and being cynical when things don’t work out the way we want them to. We doubt others. We even doubt the doubters.
Holy Week is the biggest week of the year. And now it’s over. Many people, most volunteers, spent many hours and late nights pulling together all the little details so these Sacred Liturgies of Palm Sunday, the Triduum, the Tenebrae, and Easter Sunday became joyful celebrations of our rich Catholic heritage. Each year, the planning begins in January. Even so, there are always last minute changes and overlooked details that make things a little chaotic – candles get misplaced, there is confusion with readings, incense won’t burn, the weather doesn’t always cooperate, and miscues happen during Mass. Although we have been celebrating these liturgies for almost 2000 years, things never seem to go “perfect”.
When the chaos hits, the doubt creeps in. That’s because the Devil is literally is in the details – and Satan thrives in chaos. Satan knows that we know what doubt is. So he gets sneaky. He plants seeds in of doubt in our minds causing us to second-guess ourselves or criticize others – especially in the midst of the chaos. So, it shouldn’t surprise us when we begin to doubt ourselves or others in the midst of things falling apart around us.
In the Gospel today, Thomas doubted, and I wonder how the disciples really felt. Did they take his doubt as criticism and become discouraged. Did they feel disheartened and want to give up because their colleague would not believe them. They could have rejected Thomas – but they didn’t. Whenever we feel like doubting ourselves or others, let’s remember that Thomas doubted then believed – the disciples were doubted then vindicated. The devil is in the details and Satan thrives in chaos. However, Jesus blesses those who do not doubt – but believe.