When I was in seminary, I was required to take philosophy. For the most part, those particular studies hurt my head, but there were a few things I learned. One class in particular was entitled: epistemology. It concerns the study of knowledge itself. How do we know anything? And what can we say we know?
The answer: practically nothing. Our lives are built upon beliefs – many of which we take for granted: you go to bed assuming you will get up, but you may not. You flip a switch assuming the lights will come on, but it may not. You turn the faucet assuming water will come on, but it may not. In a city like ours, the level of belief is even higher because we expect certain behaviours from people and infrastructure in order for each of us to get along and function so highly in such a small space.
So you see, I don’t think faith is an issue for our society. As you will find, I think it is forgiveness. We live with a lot of faith – we just don’t call it that. We like to think we are in control, but control is probably the greatest illusion of our age.
I think this is why the Church places the doubt of Thomas in the Gospel against the idea of community in our first reading. Community saves us from the belief that we are in control. It saves us from our doubt. It saves us from ourselves.
CLICK HERE for the readings for Second Sunday of Easter (Acts 4:32-35; Psalm 118; 1 John 5:1-6; John 20:19-31)