It’s hard to believe
even for those who have seen
“Fortunate are you to see what you see!”—Jesus said one day (Lk 10:23). The disciples who accompanied the Master during his public life are called by Luke witnesses of the events that have taken place among us (Lk 1:1-2). It is undeniable; they are blessed because they have seen. Among them, there is also Thomas.
Yet this experience was just the first stage of a demanding journey, one that had to bring them to faith.
Many who like them have seen have not come to believe. It’s enough to think of the “woes” pronounced by Jesus against the cities of the lake that witnessed the signs he performed and they did not convert (Lk 10:13-15). Seeing is the cause of bliss, but it is not enough.
After Easter, the Lord—who can no longer be seen by the material eyes—proclaims another beatitude: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” They are blessed if, by listening, they come to the same goal, the faith. To them Peter turns moving words: “You have not yet seen him and yet you love him; even without seeing him, you believe in him and experience a heavenly joy beyond all words” (1 Pet 1:8).
It is the joy assured to those who trust the Word, not that of people, but that of Christ, contained in the scriptures and given to the church by the apostles—as John reminds us in the conclusion of his Gospel.
To internalize the message, we repeat:
“Blessed are we, though not having seen, believe.”