Pope Highlights Doubt of Thomas

Says It Shed Light on True Face of God

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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 8, 2007 (Zenit.org).- The disbelief of Thomas was a fortunate event that led to the discovery of the true face of God, said Benedict XVI during his Easter message.



Speaking from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica today, the Holy Father reminded the faithful that after the Resurrection, "Thomas remained doubtful and perplexed."

The Pope said: "When Jesus came for a second time, he said to him: 'Put your finger here and see my hands; and put out your hand and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing!'

"The apostle's response is a moving profession of faith: 'My Lord and my God!' We too renew that profession of faith of Thomas."

The Pope said: "I have chosen these words for my Easter greetings this year, because humanity today expects from Christians a renewed witness to the resurrection of Christ; it needs to encounter him and to know him as true God and true man.

"We may all be tempted by the disbelief of Thomas. Suffering, evil, injustice, death, especially when it strikes the innocent such as children who are victims of war and terrorism, of sickness and hunger, does not all of this put our faith to the test?"

Purification

The Holy Father continued: "Paradoxically the disbelief of Thomas is most valuable to us in these cases because it helps to purify all false concepts of God and leads us to discover his true face: the face of a God who, in Christ, has taken upon himself the wounds of injured humanity.

"In fact, by his rising the Lord has not taken away suffering and evil from the world but has vanquished them at their roots by the superabundance of his grace.

"He has countered the arrogance of evil with the supremacy of his love. He has left us the love that does not fear death, as the way to peace and joy."

The Pope added: "United to him and ready to offer our lives for our brothers, let us become apostles of peace, messengers of a joy that does not fear pain -- the joy of the Resurrection."